Can My Employer Look at My Credit Score?

On Monday, we discussed the legalities surrounding certain questions during the job application process. Photo of employee handbook

With this in mind, we also hear a lot of questions about credit reports and scores, and the legalities surrounding financial background checks during the application process. If you have concerns about this, you should be aware that in California, there are limited circumstances in which employers may be able to use credit reports when making a hiring decision.

An employer may not consider an applicant’s credit report during the hiring process unless the person is looking for a position in:

  • Law enforcement
  • Certain managerial positions that handle money
  • Positions with the state Department of Justice
  • Positions that involve accessing other peoples’ financial records
  • Positions that involve trade secrets or proprietary information

Additionally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires employers to get consent before pulling a candidate’s credit report. Often, this is done through paperwork that is filled out during the application process. If an employer uses the information it receives to make a decision, it must provide an applicant with notice if it decides not to offer him or her employment based on the contents of a credit report.

Our Los Angeles Labor Attorneys Can Help if You Have an Issue During the Job Application Process

If you believe that an employer has discriminated against you illegally based on a background check, speak to our Los Angeles labor lawyers. We can investigate your case and determine if the employer acted in an illegal manner. If an employer has violated the law, then you may be entitled to damages.

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Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment attorneys