New Economy Project is thrilled that New York City has taken action to end credit checks in employment, which unjustly block qualified New Yorkers, particularly people of color, from needed jobs. The NYC Council passed this vital civil rights law on Thursday.
New Economy Project commends New York City for advancing the strongest law of its kind in the country, which will remove a major barrier to equal employment opportunity for all New Yorkers. There is no demonstrated connection between information in a person’s credit report and his or her likely job performance or propensity to commit fraud or theft. Notwithstanding, nearly half of all employers reportedly use credit checks in hiring, promotion and other job-related decisions.
We are pleased that New York City has withstood pressures by the credit reporting industry and other big business lobbyists to gut this important legislation, and we look forward to working closely with the City to monitor the impact of the few exemptions contained in the bill.
For the past two decades, New Economy Project has worked to combat structural inequities in our financial system that perpetuate inequality and poverty. Credit reports reflect already-existing inequities in our credit system and in our economy. For example, people who live in NYC neighborhoods of color have long been targeted by predatory lenders, and borne the brunt of the foreclosure crisis and recession.
In 2012, our organization launched the NYC Coalition to End Credit Checks in Employment, a broad-based coalition of 79 community, labor, and student organizations, to press for such a law, as a matter of racial and economic justice.
New Economy Project appreciates the City Council’s tremendous support for the bill, Intro 261, including Brad Lander for championing the legislation, and the Progressive Caucus for making it a top policy priority.