Inability to pay due to job loss and prolonged unemployment or a major illness can spell financial doom for the average Colorado family—but credit reports do not distinguish causes. Failure to pay bills on time is a strike on a credit report, which, then, can become a bar on further employment, especially in a competitive job market where even the smallest negative indicator may turn off a potential employer.
Nationally, there is concern that credit reports are being used unfairly. Asked whether employers are using credit reports to weed out applicants in an unfair manner, Beth Givens, Director of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse wrote, “Yes, very much so.”
The Colorado bill would have restricted the use of credit reports to cases where the information contained in the report would be substantial related to the job: an employer could request a credit report for employees who would be given access to money or other assets, trade secrets or confidential information. Managers, Law Enforcement and those working in positions requiring such disclosure by other law would also have to consent to credit report disclosure.