New York City Poised to Prohibit Employer Use of Credit Checks

Written by Daniel W. Morris

The New York City Council recently voted to approve a bill that would amend the New York City Human Rights Law, making it unlawful for an employer to use an individual's credit history to make employment decisions. The bill is expected to be signed by the Mayor, and would become law 120 days later. It passed by a 47-3 vote, so a veto is improbable. The bill contains a limited number of exceptions, including:

  • financial institutions required by law to use an individual's credit history;
  • a position in which an employee is required to be bonded under city, state or federal law;
  • a position in which an employee is required to possess security clearance under federal law or the law of any state;
  • a non-clerical position that has regular access to trade secrets, as narrowly defined by the bill; intelligence information; or national security information;
  • a position where the employee has (1) signatory authority over third-party funds or assets valued at $10,000 or more; or (2) authority to enter financial agreements valued at $10,000 or more on behalf of the employer;
  • a position with regular duties that allows the employee to modify digital security systems established to prevent the unauthorized use of the employer's or client's networks or databases.

New York City employers that currently use credit histories for some or all of their employment decisions should be prepared for the changes that this new law may require to their employment practices.

If you have questions about this update or integrating these anticipated changes into your employment practices, please contact the author of this article or an attorney at Clifton Budd & DeMaria, LLP.

About the Author
Daniel W. Morris
Daniel W. Morris serves as Partner at Clifton Budd & DeMaria, LLP. He focuses his practice on employment litigation in...
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