From Black Voices — It’s the ultimate Catch-22. You are out of work and can’t pay your bills on time. Your credit score falls as a result. You finally get a job interview and they want to hire you because of your qualifications and enthusiasm.
And then your potential employer does a credit check, finds the blemishes on your record and rescinds their job offer. How are you supposed to pay your bills on time if you can’t get a job?
I’m sure millions of Americans are in a similar situation due to the deep recession. Now, Kaplan, which prepares applicants for various academic tests, is being sued by the federal government for discriminating against black job applicants by screening job applicants’ credit.
The AP writes:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the practice of rejecting job seekers based on their credit history has a discriminatory impact on some racial and ethnic groups. The lawsuit alleges that Kaplan’s practice is not job-related or justified by business necessity. The lawsuit seeks lost wages, benefits and offers of employment for people who were not hired because of the company’s credit history screening procedures.
Kaplan has denied any wrongdoing and said the company does background checks on all applicants and credit checks on those whose duties involve financial matters.
The suit reflects how credit has become a harbinger of so many things in our society.
For example, try renting an apartment, buying car insurance or getting a cell phone without a credit check. The theory is that people with poor credit are greater risks when it comes to things like car insurance.