A friend of mine, Josh, recently applied to job, had a positive interview, but ran into problems with the paperwork. They wanted to run a credit check on him.
In college, Josh was a little irresponsible and racked up a fair amount of debt. Now he wants to repay it, but was worried that this employer would disapprove of his past activity. The credit check was likely the deciding factor as he didn’t get the job and had to look elsewhere.
At least 16 states are now considering banning most employer credit checks, an act that will help give jobs to people who are trying to get out of debt. Josh was penalized for something that happened 5 years ago, and he has since changed his ways. Making the assumption that he is irresponsible and not letting him get a job adds insult to injury.
Another friend, Sally, went through a lengthy interview process, was offered a contract, and was ready to sign when she saw a strange non-compete clause. She didn’t understand why her administrative assistant job would require that, so she had her father, a lawyer, take it in to work and have a coworker who specialized in contract law take a look. He came back with a few concerns, which Sally relayed to her soon-to-be employer.
She received a call saying that the employment offer was being rescinded. My friend was confused why getting legal advice about the contract was a problem, but they explained that getting legal advice was fine, but going to her father for help was not and that it was a sign that she is too irresponsible to handle work without help from others. Whether that was the real reason or if the company had more of an issue with her not signing the clause we can’t be sure, but the employer’s assumption cost Sally a job.
They took a HUGE leap to come to the conclusion that she was unfit to work for them. Suddenly this 4.0 student with just about every award in the book isn’t responsible? It’s ridiculous that they would penalize her because of her father’s profession. Clearly this isn’t an employer anyone should actually want to work for. So I guess it is probably best that she found out early on that this company is crazy.
Are employing making big leaps with these assumptions against my friends? Is it fair to discriminate against those who have had credit problems in the past? Even if they are now trying to make up for it?