NOW IN EFFECT: D.C. Law Restricts Employers From Making Credit Check Inquiries
On April 7, 2017, the D.C. Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act of 2016 (the “Act”) (L21-0256) took effect as Congress’s review period expired. As we have previously reported here, the Act amends the D.C. Human Rights Act to prohibit employers from discriminating against job applicants and current employees based on their credit information. Specifically, the Act prohibits, with certain exceptions, D.C. employers from “directly or indirectly requir[ing], request[ing], suggest[ing], or caus[ing] any employee [or applicant] to submit credit information, or us[ing], accept[ing], refer[ring] to, or inquir[ing] into an employee’s [or applicant’s] credit information.”
D.C. joins several states, including California, Illinois and Maryland, in addition to other localities, including Chicago and New York City, that have enacted laws that limit private employers’ use of credit checks during the hiring process. The Act, however, extends beyond the hiring process, to cover the use of credit information with respect to existing employees.
As we have previously reported, D.C. employers that utilize credit checks as part of their hiring or employment practices should assess whether changes to their practices are necessary to ensure compliance with the Act’s requirements.