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    Nebraska bills would restrict credit checks on job applicants

    There has been increasing focus on the use of credit checks of job applicants by employers. The District of Columbia is considering legislation that would restrict the use of credit checks by employers. Illinois and Oregon have passed similar laws. In March, the Oregon governor signed a law that protects job applicants’ privacy when it comes to their credit reports. In August, Illinois Gov. Quinn signed House Bill 4658 (pdf), which creates the Employee Credit Privacy Act. The law bans employers from checking the credit of job applicants, with some exceptions.

    Now, the Associated Press reports that Nebraska is considering legislation to ban these pre-employment credit checks: LB113, an relating to the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act, and LB530, the Employee Credit Privacy Act.

    Employers wouldn’t be able to rely on applicants’ credit histories as a determining factor in hiring decisions under two measures considered Monday by the Nebraska Legislature’s Business and Labor Committee.

    One bill (LB113) by state Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton would add the use of credit histories or reports to Nebraska’s list of unlawful employment practices. The exception would be in cases where information in a credit check directly relates to the occupation for the job being sought. […]

    Dubas questioned whether employers would get an accurate picture of an applicant’s integrity or sense of responsibility from a credit report now, following one of the worst economic recessions in U.S. history. She noted that any number of factors could negatively affect a person’s credit history, including a job layoff, divorce, a death in the family, identity theft and medical bills. […]

    Another bill (LB530) by state Sen. Brenda Council of Omaha would prohibit employers from inquiring about or using an employee’s or prospective employee’s credit history as a basis for employment, recruitment, discharge or compensation. Council’s bill also includes exceptions for those applicants seeking jobs in which they would have to be bonded, such as those who handle cash, securities or other valuable things. […]

    The committee must advance the measures before they can be debated by the full Legislature.

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