NYC Credit Checks – September 09, 2015

On Wednesday May 6th Mayor de Blasio signed Intro No. 261-A, which amended the administrative code of New York City to prohibit most employers with four or more employees, from using credit information in hiring decisions. The amendment prohibits employers from using any information about an individual’s credit history or credit worthiness or information obtained from the individual regarding details about credit accounts, bankruptcies, judgement or liens. The law is stricter than other similar laws in other jurisdictions, restricting the types of positions in which an employer can obtain credit reports.

Exceptions to the law include the following:

  • Positions that are required by state or federal law or regulations or by a self-regulatory organization as defined in section 3(a)(26) of the securities exchange act of 1934, as amended to use an individual’s consumer credit history for employment purposes.
  • Positions as a police officers or peace officer, or in a position with a law enforcement or investigative function at the department of investigation.
  • Positions that are subject to background investigation by the department of investigation, provided, however, that the appointing agency may not use consumer credit history information for employment purposes unless the position is an appointed position in which a high degree of public trust, as defined by the commission in rules, has been reposed.
  • Positions in which an employee is required to be bonded under City, State or Federal law.
  • Positions in which an employee is required to possess security clearance under Federal law or the law of any State.
  • Non-clerical positions having regular access to trade secrets, intelligence information or national security information.
  • Positions having signatory authority over third party funds or assets valued at $10,000 or more or that involves a fiduciary responsibility to the employer with the authority to enter financial agreements valued at $10,000 or more on behalf of the employer.
  • Positions with regular duties that allow the employee to modify digital security systems established to prevent the unauthorized use of the employer’s or client’s networks or databases.

As a reminder on September 3rd 2015, the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act in NYC restricts the use of credit reports for most employers. The NYC Commission on Human Rights has published the several documents to assist employees and employers. This information is available here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/html/coverage/credit-history.shtml