An employer or prospective employer who has conducted a credit check as part of your hiring process, may have violated the law.
On August 10th, 2010, the Illinois Employee Credit Privacy Act “IECPA” was enacted to prohibit employers from inquiring about or using a current or prospective employee’s credit history as a basis for employment, discharge, or compensation. Therefore, making credit history as a basis for employment illegal.
The IECPA bars your employer or potential employer to use your credit history, meaning your past borrowing and repaying behavior including paying bills and managing debt or any other financial obligations, against you. It also restricts an employer from obtaining a credit report that may contain information including, but not limited to, creditworthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity. An employer cannot request or require these rights be waived in lieu of this act, as well.
In the first case of its kind, Stephan Zouras, LLP successfully established meaningful precedent protecting the rights of workers. On September 27th, 2016 a three-justice panel of the Illinois First District Appellate Court ruled against Neiman Marcus in our case representing hundreds of retail employees stating that a retail employer should not be able to deny jobs to applicants with poor credit history.
Stephan Zouras, LLP was able to recover $250 to $7,500 per member for a class of several hundred retail employees who were subjected to unlawful credit checks and/or denied jobs based on such reports, as prohibited by the Illinois Employee Credit Privacy Act.
Employers who have failed or refused employment, discharged, or otherwise discriminated against an employee or applicant is in violation of this act. Any employer who has also requested, obtained, or inquired about an applicant or employee’s credit history may be in violation of this act.
If you, or someone you know has been subject to, or have lost employment due to a credit check by an employer and want more information on your rights, please contact us.