Some employers could be blocked from running a credit history on their employees or potential employees--even if the job involves access to the company’s nonfinancial assets or property--under a bill given a public hearing by the Labor Committee this week.
Current state law grants only very limited circumstances in which an employer can ask an employee or prospective employee to consent to a credit report as a condition of employment.
A bank, for example, may ask to see an employee’s credit history because their customers’ trust in their financial safety is critically important.
And because many other types of occupations give employees access to valuable property, state law also allows a credit inquiry if an employee has access to at least $2,500 in a company’s nonfinancial assets.
HB 6789, however, would change that safeguard.
Although the bill does away with the $2,500 property value threshold, it blocks an employer from inquiring about the credit history of any employee unless the worker has access to a museum or library collection or prescription drugs or pharmaceuticals.
The proposed change defies logic and would open many consumers and businesses in Connecticut to potential financial peril.
For example, the bill allows a pharmacy owner to run a credit history on a prospective employee who would have access to $1 worth of prescription drugs. But the jewelry store owner next door would be prohibited from running a credit history on a prospective employee who could have access to millions of dollars worth of store merchandise.
Most employers would have no way to screen the people they hire to handle their valuable merchandise, or have access to other types of nonfinancial assets.
With Connecticut still recovering from the recession and the state having an image of being a difficult place in which to do business, lawmakers shouldn’t erode consumer protections, nor make it harder to do business in Connecticut.