On January 19, U.S. Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced H.R. 321, the “Equal Employment for All Act,” which would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to restrict employers from using consumer credit reports to make adverse employment decisions (e.g., hiring, promotion, termination) regarding prospective or current employees.  The Act contains exceptions for, among other scenarios, positions that require national security clearances and managerial positions at financial institutions. 

H.R. 321 is the first federal legislation to restrict employers’ use of employee credit reports, but there has already been considerable activity at the state level.  Four states – Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington – already have laws restricting employer use of employee credit reports, and 13 more states are considering legislation that would impose similar restrictions.

We will continue to monitor federal and state developments in this area and keep you posted as these bills make their way through the legislative process.