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In response to what it perceives as a barrier to people getting jobs, the Oregon Senate has introduced a bill to curb employers’ use of credit reports.

Oregon Senate Bill 1045 would prevent most employers from using a prospective candidate’s credit history into pre-employment screening, promotion or other employment-related decisions.  According to The Oregonian “[the] bill would continue to allow businesses to look into an applicant’s criminal and employment history and do other background checks. And certain employers could continue to consider credit histories, such as banks, law enforcement agencies and other businesses that can show credit checks are necessary to evaluate candidates for specific positions.

The proposal will be reviewed by Governor Ted Kulongski and is expected to pass.  Oregon is among the states with the highest unemployment rates in the country and is well-known for its liberal policies and practices.  Opponents are stating that this law would be anti-business by limiting the information employers can use to make an informed hiring decision.

If the law is passed, Oregon would join Hawaii and Washington as the only states that limit the use of credit reports.

We anticipate that NAPBS will advocate on behalf of employers on this issue and will keep you posted.  We are, of course, opposed to this bill.  As long as credit reports are used legally and without discrimination, employers should have the ability to exercise the rights granted under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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