An employer in California wants to do a credit check before hiring me. Is that allowed?

No, employers are now prevented from using credit scores and credit histories in making hiring decisions in most cases. California is the seventh state in the U.S. to ban credit checks by employers. Many other states are considering similar laws.

It’s been estimated that about 60 percent of companies in the U.S. use credit checks as a factor when hiring. This number has been on the rise over the past several decades.

Although the law prohibits most businesses from relying on credit checks during the hiring process, they aren’t prohibited in all circumstances. If the credit check is a necessity for the position, the company is allowed to conduct a credit check. If a business deals with money or large financial transactions, it may be necessary to check employees’ credit in order to discover any fraud or abuse.

In addition, the law also allows certain other applicants’ credit to be checked. By law, an employer can use a credit report during the hiring process if the candidate is being considered for a managerial job, a law enforcement position, a job in the state Department of Justice, a job in which the information in the report is required to be disclosed, a job that involves access to confidential information, or a job that involves regular access to sensitive information.

If you have applied for a job in California and the prospective employer is asking for a credit report, and you do not believe that is allowed, you should speak to an attorney. Call me, Conal Doyle, Los Angeles employment attorney, at 310-385-0567. I can help. Call today to schedule a free consultation.