Connecticut Restricts Using Credit Scores in Hiring

By John Herrington

On October 1, Connecticut becomes the most recent state to limit employers’ use of credit histories in employment decisions. The state joins Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington in making restrictions.

The new law – Public Act No. 11-223 – prohibits any Connecticut employer with more than one employee from requiring “an employee or prospective employee to consent to a request for a credit report that contains information about the employee’s or prospective employee’s credit score, credit account balances, payment history, savings or checking account balances or savings or checking account numbers as a condition of employment.”

The law includes four explicit exceptions. Employers are allowed to continue using credit reports if:

  • the employer is a financial institution;
  • the report is required by law;
  • the employer has a reasonable belief that the employee has engaged in specific activity that constitutes a violation of the law related to his employment; or
  • the report is substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job or the employer has a bona fide purpose for requesting or using information in the credit report that is substantially job-related.

John Herrington is an associate with Jorden Burt LLP in Simsbury, Connecticut. If you have a question about this alert or other workplace issues, contact him at (860) 392-5048. For complete coverage of this issue, see John’s article “Connecticut restricts the use of credit scores in hiring decisions” in the August edition of Connecticut Employment Law Letter.