Last Friday, New York City Council members held a hearing on a bill that would ban employers from running credit checks on potential hires. Such checks unfairly disadvantage those individuals most in need of jobs using a metric that bears no relation to job performance. A similar bill was proposed last year, but failed to pass.
Forty of the council’s 51 members have signed on as sponsors to the bill, the Associated Press reports, with Councilman Brad Lander, a Democratic council member from Brooklyn, as its chief sponsor. Similar bills have already been enacted in ten states and Chicago, but with some specific exemptions. If the NYC bill progresses, exemptions are to be expected, such as credit checks for financial industry hires.
If such a credit check ban passes this year, it will represent a significant step forward in rebuilding the city’s middle class, and offering those with bad credit, significant student loan debt, or an underwater mortgage a chance to improve their situation, rather than perpetuating the cycle of being held back by the very things they are working to resolve.
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