Another Violation of your rights?

First there were background checks. Then, there were drug tests. Now, comes the most seemingly insipid yet vicious one of them all—credit checks.

What on earth does one’s credit have to do with one’s job performance? Some employers say that bad credit will lead to theft. (I doubt that the Enron felons had any dings on their credit.)Some of these same employers say too much debt is indication that you will not be responsible, even if all your payments are on time.

If you are applying for, or for that matter holding onto, a job, it seems as though everything is now fair game. How much is your mortgage? Have you been married? Have you had children? Did you have to take out student loans or did you get a full-ride scholarship? Have you been to the hospital and…gasp…have a bill or 42 to pay? Most heinious of all, and criminal to some companies–has one of your checks ever inadvertently bounced? These things, as well as your full credit history and numeric credit score all show up on that innocuous little report.

If you sign a release for your credit history to be revealed to your employer, this credit request can be pulled at any time for any reason. People have and will be fired based on this information. Does it take a great thinker to figure any of this out? Not really. However, there are those who purport to be those very thinkers who have implemented these new bylines. What’s worse? There is no proof that any of it works.

President Bush recently repealed our country’s bankruptcy laws as they were for a long time. So, if you are in financial trouble, it’s very difficult to get your UNSECURED debt forgiven or under control. These very same companies who have benefited from the new law are the ones who are hiring. So…now they have two ways to hinder you…once through your debt and twice through your job. I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m ashamed that the businessworld has so fiendishly thought this through. Oh, yes, they have thought this through.

A friend of mine is currently in the market for a teaching job. She has twenty years experience, two Masters Degrees, (one of them in Human Resources), as well as a separate undergrad degree in CICS. In the last three days, she has had two job offers, both of which were contingent upon her agreeing to the credit check. She has nothing to hide, but her ethical beliefs do not allow her to give in to this latest attack on her rights.

My friend is still looking, and our discussion started me thinking about how our rights are slowly being taken away. So when you go on your next interview and are ready to sign that contract, think twice. She did.
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