Thursday, August 12, 2010

Credit information can no longer be used in employment decisions.

On August 10, 2010, Governor Quinn signed the Employee Credit Privacy Act (H.B. 4658) into law. The Act prohibits most employers from using an applicant’s or employee’s credit history or other credit information as a factor in any employment decision (e.g., hire, discharge, terms of employment).

The Act applies to employers of any size, but certain employers are specifically excluded from the Act’s coverage. Many governmental employers, as well as banks, savings and loan associations, other financial institutions, debt collectors, insurance companies, and surety businesses are specifically excluded from the Act’s prohibitions.

Employers may not retaliate or discriminate against a person for exercising rights under the Employee Credit Privacy Act. Employers who violate the Act may be sued and ordered to pay damages including attorneys’ fees. Further, the Act does not allow waivers of the Act’s rights and invalidates any such waivers that exist.

The effective date of the Act is January 1, 2011.

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