Skip to Main Content
Services Talent Knowledge
Site Search
Menu

Alert

Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

May 29, 2015

New York City Prohibits Discrimination Based on Consumer Credit History

On May 6, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill prohibiting employment discrimination based on consumer credit history. The legislation amends the New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL") and makes it unlawful for an employer, labor organization, employment agency, or agent thereof "to request or to use for employment purposes the consumer credit history of an applicant for employment or employee, or otherwise discriminate against an applicant or employee with regard to hiring, compensation, or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment based on the consumer credit history of the applicant or employee."

The NYCHRL defines an individual's "consumer credit history" as the individual's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, or payment history, as indicated by: (a) a consumer credit report; (b) credit score; or (c) information an employer obtains directly from the individual regarding (1) details about credit accounts, including the individual's number of credit accounts, late or missed payments, charged-off debts, items in collections, credit limit, prior credit report inquiries, or (2) bankruptcies, judgments or liens.

The amendment to the NYCHRL does not apply to an employer or agent thereof that is required by law, or a self-regulatory organization, to use an individual's consumer credit history for employment purposes; and to persons applying for positions or employed: 

  • as police officers, peace officers, or in a position with a law enforcement or investigative function at the department of investigation; \
  • in a position that is subject to background investigation by the department of investigation, provided, however, that the appointing agency may not use consumer credit history information for employment purposes unless the position is an appointed position in which a high degree of public trust has been reposed; 
  • in a position in which an employee is required to be bonded under law; 
  • in a position in which an employee is required to possess security clearance under law; 
  • in a non-clerical position having regular access to trade secrets, intelligence information or national security information; 
  • in a position having signatory authority over third-party funds or assets valued at $10,000 or more; or that involves a fiduciary responsibility to the employer with the authority to enter financial agreements valued at $10,000 or more on behalf of the employer; and 
  • in a position with regular duties that allow the employee to modify digital security systems established to prevent the unauthorized use of the employer's or client's networks or databases.

Nor does the amendment preclude employers from requesting or receiving consumer credit history information pursuant to a lawful subpoena, court order or law enforcement investigation.

The new law is effective September 3, 2015. New York City is the twelfth jurisdiction in the country to prohibit employers from considering an individual's consumer credit history for employment purposes.

Additional guidance regarding this new law may be issued. However, employers should carefully review their hiring practices now.


If you have any questions, please contact the Hiscock & Barclay lawyer with whom you normally work or any attorney in our Labor & Employment Practice Area.

Subscribe

Click here to sign up for alerts, blog posts, and firm news.

Subscribe

Sign up to receive our latest news

Practice Areas

Featured Industries

New & Emerging Industry Practice Areas

Other

Featured Media

Alerts

A Rule of Reason Dictated for OMIG "System Match" Desk Audits

Alerts

NYS's Landmark Climate Legislation Aims to Cut Greenhouse Gases, Increase Renewable Energy

Alerts

Start Delayed for Required Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Contributions

This site uses cookies to give you the best experience possible on our site and in some cases direct advertisements to you based upon your use of our site.

By clicking [I agree], you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For information on what cookies we use and how to manage our use of cookies, please visit our Privacy Statement.

I AgreeOpt-Out