LANSING —State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) introduced HB 4117 today, which would prevent employers from requesting information about an applicant’s credit history, refusing to hire individuals based on his or her credit history, or retaliating or discriminating against an individual for refusing to provide consent to a credit check during the job application process.

“Credit reports do not in any way gauge the ability or integrity of a job applicant,” said Anthony. “Rejecting a job applicant because of his or her credit history perpetuates the poverty cycle — making it impossible for folks to improve their credit because they’re unable to get a job and pay their bills. All Michiganders deserve to have the opportunity to obtain a good paying job, regardless of whether they fell on hard times in the past or made financial missteps when first starting out on their own.  Hiring decisions should be based on what applicants can bring to the position, not credit habits that may simply reflect the challenges of life. ”

The use of this practice is often justified by the claim that mismanagement of finances can be indicative of a person’s job performance, however, there is little to no evidence to show there is any correlation between job performance and credit history. Several states other states, including Illinois, California, Colorado and Maryland have already implemented similar restrictions on using credit history as a factor during the hiring process. HB 4117 would not apply to positions where the handling or management of money is essential to the position such as financial institutions and casinos.