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Can my credit history impact my employment status?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2023 | Employment Law |

Employers are increasingly assessing employees and candidates for employment’s personal lives more closely. There are times when this is acceptable and times when it is not. For Oregon residents who believe they have been mistreated on the job or when they are searching for employment because of an employer’s feelings about certain issues, it is important to understand that they have rights and are accorded protections.

In general, a person’s credit history should not impact their job. However, if a person has had financial challenges in the past and their credit is damaged because of it, the employer cannot discriminate against them. If this is believed to have happened, it is wise to know the law and how to hold the employer accountable.

What should I know about employers checking a credit history?

Employers are not allowed to use an employee’s or prospective employee’s credit history as a justification for an employment action. The person cannot be denied a job they would otherwise have been hired for, demoted, discharged, suspended, face retaliation or any other form of discrimination due to their credit history.

However, there are some jobs where these rules do not apply. Examples include if it is a job at a federally insured bank or a credit union; working for employers who are legally obligated by the state or federal government to use credit history when making employment determinations; workers who will be in public safety such as a police officer, a peace officer or a person who is going to enforce the law; or if it is categorized as “substantially job related.”

A poor credit history should not result in problems at work

Being discriminated against and facing wrongful termination or other adverse employment actions should not be tolerated. This is particularly true for personal financial problems like a poor credit history. It is not uncommon for people to encounter financial difficulties like a bankruptcy or other obstacles that can damage their credit. They should not be deprived of employment because of it.

Regardless of the reason the employee believes they have been discriminated against, it is useful to have assistance with analyzing the claim, gathering evidence and moving forward to try and reach a positive outcome. The employee can get their job back, receive back pay and other forms of compensation. Taking the first step of contacting professionals is key with any employment law case.



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