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States considering laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of credit history

Nebraska is the latest state to debate a bill that would prohibit employers from discriminating against applicants on the basis of their credit history. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont already have similar bans on employers using credit histories during the hiring process except with respect to certain types of jobs, like if state or federal law requires the employee to be bonded. Maine does not have such a law.

The Nebraskan legislator supporting this latest bill, Sen. Annette Dubas, noted that “there are many occurrences in our lives that are out of our control but can have an impact on our credit score.” Dubas maintains that “there is little correlation between credit history and job performance or the likelihood of committing fraud.” Indeed, applicants who are unknowing victims of identity theft–which is at record levels–could be hurt during a hiring process out of no fault of their own.