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Rhode Island Legislature Contemplating Bill to Regulate Use of Credit History Reports in Hiring Process

  March 22, 2012

If you’re a Rhode Island employer – please take note that the Rhode Island legislature is currently considering a law that would regulate the use of credit reports by prospective employers for hiring purposes. 

If passed, RI SB 2587 would place specific regulations on what circumstances would allow an organization to include a credit history report in the hiring process, as well as how the credit history check should be conducted.  Rhode Island is following the lead of 7 other states who have already limited use of credit history in the hiring process.  These states are Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, California, Connecticut, Maryland, and Illinois.   

In the proposed bill, the prospective employer would not be allowed to use a credit report for employment purposes unless the position is one of the following:

• Managerial position
• Position in the state department of justice
• Sworn peace officer or other law enforcement position
• A position for which the information in the report is required by law to be disclosed or obtained
• Position that involves regular access to personal indentifying information, financial information, and confidential or proprietary information.

When a credit history report is used, there are specific protocols that must be followed, including:

• Provide written notice to applicant of intent to use credit history report and for what specific purpose
• Inform applicant the source of the report and provide opportunity to receive copy of credit report
• If employment is denied either wholly or partly because of information contained in consumer credit report, the employer must provide the name and address of the consumer credit reporting agency making the report.

As this story develops we will pass along more information.

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