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Credit history checks by employers now prohibited

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High Five
Thursday, July 01, 2010

A new law passed by the Oregon state legislature prohibits employers from using credit history as a factor in hiring, firing, demoting or suspending employees, unless they can prove that good credit history is important for the job.

The vote was divided nearly along party lines, with House and Senate Republicans mostly opposed.

The law originated from a concern that credit histories could be inaccurate or unfairly represent job seekers down on their luck, said Sen. Diane Rosenbaum, D-Portland,who sponsored the bill. Oregon unemployment is hovering around 10.6 percent, and people don't need another factor standing between them and a job, she said.

About 35 to 40 percent of employers nationally check credit scores, Bob Estabrook, a state Bureau of Labor and Industries spokesman, estimated. But the percentage is dropping as other states, including Washington and Hawaii, adopt similar laws.

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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