July 20, 2023 — Testimony

The Fair Chance in Employment Act will limit the use of credit reports in hiring decisions. The use of credit reports in employment decisions is harmful and unfair to workers for a number of reasons. First is the absurdity of the practice. Considering credit histories in hiring creates a vicious Catch-22 for job applicants. A worker who loses their job is likely to fall behind on paying their bills due to lack of income. They can’t rebuild their credit history if they can’t get a job to pay those bills, and they can’t get a job if they’ve got bad credit. It’s a form of financial death spiral. Workers are especially vulnerable to this death spiral during times of high unemployment, such as when the rate hit 16.4% in Massachusetts during the pandemic.