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Oregon Bans Credit History Checks by Employers

The Oregon Legislative Assembly has passed House Bill 1045 [3], which would prohibit the use of credit history for use in employment purposes (it was actually signed by the governor in late March [4]). In other words, employers in Oregon cannot use the information they collect in a credit report to make am employment decision such as hiring, firing, or demoting an employee. The law, obviously, goes into greater detail but the writing on the wall is clear – you cannot use credit checks to make any sort of employment decision.

My take on this is that it’s about time a state stepped up and stopped this practice. Not many employers do it, only about 35-40% according to [5] an Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries spokesman, but that’s far too many.

The law does allow exclusions for:

If employers violate this law, employees or prospective employees are able to file a complaint and receive damages, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater; plus punitive damages.

We need a federal law mandating this so we can save state legislatures some time.