Back in December 2013, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced a bill to stop employers from requiring credit reports from potential employees. Sen. Warren pointed out that this practice unfairly targets poor people, and confuses having poor credit with poor character. She said:
A bad credit rating is far more often the result of unexpected medical costs, unemployment, economic downturns, or other bad breaks than it is a reflection on an individual’s character or abilities. Families have not fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, and too many Americans are still searching for jobs. This is about basic fairness — let people compete on the merits, not on whether they already have enough money to pay all their bills.
Unfortunately, the bill died in the 113th Congress. Perhaps because the political environment was polarized, and/or because Warren did not yet have enough clout.
Elizabeth Warren, champion of the people, refuses to give up
Since then, the Democratic Senator’s popularity has soared, and she has had several victories. Just earlier today, Sen. Warren scored a big win after successfully pushing the SEC to require a rule that companies must reveal the discrepancy between what their top executives get paid and what their ordinary workers take home.
Perhaps this is why Senator Warren decided to announce she was ready to take back on the fight against pre-employment credit checks. As stated on Warren’s Facebook page:
Lots of people have damaged credit from a job loss, illness, or family breakup. A bad credit score has little or no correlation with one’s ability to succeed at work. Today I reintroduced my bill to stop employers from requiring credit checks on prospective employees. Let people compete for jobs on the merits, not on whether they already have enough money to pay all their bills.
Whatever the reason, progressives everywhere are ready to cheer her on! The passing of the Equal Employment for All Act would help a lot of qualified, hardworking people who are unfairly passed up for employment opportunities. Watch Elizabeth Warren talk about her original bill back in 2014:
<DIV ALIGN-=”CENTER”>[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m87_7f4xG0w&w=420&h=315]</DIV>
Featured Image via Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Facebook page.