Colorado Moves to Restrict Credit Reports on Background Checks

Nick Fishman

The state of Colorado is now mulling House Bill 11-1127 which would create certain restrictions on an employer’s ability to evaluate a job candidate’s/employee’s credit report as part of the background screening process (the bill also addresses requirements for insurance companies and landlords).  The bill proposes the following.

An employer cannot use a consumer credit report unless:

  1. The information is substantially job-related, meaning that the position of the person for whom the information is sought has access to money, other assets, or trade secrets or other confidential information.[Insert Nick’s snarky comment here: How many employers out there conduct credit reports for any other reason?  Can someone define “other confidential information”.  That could relate to anything.]
  2. The person of the person for whom the report is sought is a managerial position, a position in the department of law, a sworn peace officer of other law enforcement or a position for which the information is required to be disclosed by law or to be obtained by the employer. [Insert another snarky comment: Haven’t they now granted enough exemptions so that the law is unnecessary]

My smart-Alec comments aside, there is other language in here that I believe renders the entire bill useless (and I’m not complaining).  They define “Consumer Credit Information” as something that includes a credit score.

Hello people! If an employer conducts a credit report, they are provided with an “Employment Credit Report”.  An employment credit report doesn’t include a credit score.

So having dissected this bill, do we care if it passes?  It would appear that it has next to no impact on the state’s employers.

If this bill is passed, it will take effect on July 1, 2011.  Stay tuned.

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
Nick Fishman
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