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EEOC examines whether employers discriminate when they perform credit checks

On October 20, 2010 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a public meeting to hear testimony about the way employers use credit history checks to screen job applicants. Some believe that credit checks have a disparate impact on minorities, women and the disabled. Opponents of the use of credit checks also pointed out at the meeting that credit checks create a “Catch-22” for the unemployed. “You can’t re-establish your credit if you can’t get a job, and you can’t get a job if you’ve got bad credit,” said Chi Chi Wu of the National Consumer Law Center. Witnesses who testified on behalf of employers emphasized that credit checks are just one “piece of the puzzle” that employers look at when they make hiring decisions.