Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 112238
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File Number: 112238 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-937-11 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: LEGISLATURE TO PROHIBIT EMPLOYERS FROM USING CREDIT HISTORY Introduced: 10/21/2011
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 11/3/2011
Agenda Date: 11/3/2011 Agenda Item Number: 11A8
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO PASS LEGISLATION PROHIBITING EMPLOYERS FROM USING CREDIT HISTORY IN DETERMINING WHETHER TO DENY EMPLOYMENT TO A JOB APPLICANT, DISCHARGE AN EMPLOYEE OR DECIDE COMPENSATION, EXCEPT WHERE CREDIT HISTORY IS JOB-RELATED; FURTHER URGING CONGRESS TO APPROVE H.R. 321, THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT FOR ALL ACT, OR SIMILAR LEGISLATION
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Joe A. Martinez, Co-Prime Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Prime Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 11/3/2011 11A8 Adopted P

County Attorney 10/21/2011 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO PASS LEGISLATION PROHIBITING EMPLOYERS FROM USING CREDIT HISTORY IN DETERMINING WHETHER TO DENY EMPLOYMENT TO A JOB APPLICANT, DISCHARGE AN EMPLOYEE OR DECIDE COMPENSATION, EXCEPT WHERE CREDIT HISTORY IS JOB-RELATED; FURTHER URGING CONGRESS TO APPROVE H.R. 321, THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT FOR ALL ACT, OR SIMILAR LEGISLATION

BODY
WHEREAS, 6.4 million people in the U.S. have been unemployed for six months or longer; and
WHEREAS, the prospect of finding a new job is daunting enough with an employment gap on a resume, but a negative credit history can present even greater challenges; and
WHEREAS, employers are increasingly using a person's credit history as a screening tool for hiring and retention decisions; and
WHEREAS, 60 percent of employers conduct credit checks on job applicants, up from 42 percent in 2006 and 25 percent in 1998; and
WHEREAS, while employers are increasingly using credit scores, a poor credit score may be entirely unrelated to job performance; and
WHEREAS, there are many understandable reasons that a person might have a poor credit history that have nothing to do with a person’s ability to do a good job, such as costly medical problems, a messy divorce or having been laid off from a job; and
WHEREAS, during its 2011 session, the Maryland General Assembly enacted the Job Applicant Fairness Act, HB 87, Chapter 29; and
WHEREAS, the Job Applicant Fairness Act prohibits most employers from using credit history in determining whether to deny employment to a job applicant, discharge an employee, decide compensation, or evaluate other terms and conditions of employment unless it meets specific timing and job-related requirements; and
WHEREAS, limited exceptions allow employers to request or use credit information where such information is job related, including positions at financial institutions and other confidential job duties; and
WHEREAS, under Maryland's Job Applicant Fairness Act, an employer must disclose its intent to request a credit history check in writing to the applicant or employee where job duties warrant it; and
WHEREAS, the Job Applicant Fairness Act was signed into law by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley on April 12, 2011, and went into effect on October 1, 2011; and
WHEREAS, the States of Illinois, Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii also have enacted similar legislation prohibiting the use of credit information for employment purposes; and
WHEREAS, fifteen other states currently are considering similar legislation; and
WHEREAS, a bill was filed for consideration during the Florida Legislature’s 2011 session, SB 1562 by Senator Gary Siplin (D – Orlando) that would have prohibited the use of a job applicant’s personal credit history as a hiring criterion, but SB 1562 did not pass; and
WHEREAS, similar legislation also has been filed at the federal level; and
WHEREAS, H.R. 321, the Equal Employment for All Act, has been filed for consideration during the 112th U.S. Congress by Congressman Steve Cohen (D – Tennessee); and
WHEREAS, H.R. 321 would prohibit the use of consumer credit checks against current and prospective employees for the purpose of making employment decisions; and
WHEREAS, this Board recently enacted Resolution No. 878-11, which directed the Mayor or designee to develop a procedure for ensuring that the County does not use credit history as a criteria for hiring or promoting employees except for positions where such a history is related to the duties of the position; and
WHEREAS, passage of legislation at either the federal or state level that would prohibit employers from using credit history in making hiring decisions could assist many people who are currently looking for jobs in these difficult economic times,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature to pass legislation prohibiting employers from using credit history in determining whether to deny employment to a job applicant, discharge an employee or decide compensation except where credit history is job-related.
Section 2. Urges Congress to approve H.R. 321, the Equal Employment for All Act, or similar legislation.
Section 3. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of this resolution to the Florida Congressional Delegation, the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, and the Chair and Members of the Miami Dade State Legislative Delegation.
Section 4. Directs the County's state and federal lobbyists to support the legislation set forth in Sections 1 and 2 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2012 state and federal legislative packages to include this item.



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