Employers would not be able to use a job applicant’s or employee’s credit report in making key decisions about whether to hire or fire, and rights for domestic violence survivors would be broadened under a package of measures advancing in the state Assembly to address credit rating regulations in New York.
The package of bills, in essence, is aimed at providing a boost for consumers with the all-important credit score and how it can have a wide-ranging effect on a person’s life.
“The credit score system has a long way to go before it works for consumers rather than against them,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, the chair of the Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee. “This legislative package is a step toward ensuring New Yorkers are equipped with the information and protections necessary. In New York we know that poor credit reflects a broken financial system, not a judgment on the consumer.”
One measure would prevent employers or prospective employers from using a credit report when determining whether to hire, fire or promote someone else well as use it in compensation decisions or terms of employment.
Lawmakers also want credit scores to not be punished unnecessarily due to excessive fines under cashless tolling.
Consumer reporting agencies would be required to contact consumers if an inquiry is made into their reports and to provide better awareness to consumers in understanding their reports under another proposal.
And lawmakers want to protect domestic violence survivors and people who are victims of economic abuse by giving them a right of action when debt is being coerced.
”Domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse; in fact, survivors are often exposed to severe economic abuse, not realizing the extent until they’ve escaped,” said Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal. “After courageously fleeing an abusive relationship, survivors often find their credit destroyed, because their abuser has used their credit cards, made purchases and taken out loans in their name. Survivors cannot rebuild their lives while facing mountains of coerced debt. My bill will provide them the opportunity to move forward. A hit to one’s credit rating can have a long-lasting impact and I applaud the Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee for advancing this package of bills.”