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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed into law a bill that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their credit history.
H.B. 4658, the Employee Credit Privacy Act, takes effect on Jan. 1, 2011. It says employers can neither inquire about nor refuse to hire, discharge or otherwise discriminate against workers on the basis of their credit reports.
The bill the governor signed into law on Tuesday also forbids retaliation or discrimination against those who file a complaint under the law. Individuals injured by violation of the law can file a civil action in circuit court.
Businesses that are exempt from the law include insurers, banks and law enforcement agencies. In addition, the law does not apply if a satisfactory credit history is an “established bona fide occupational requirement,” such as jobs in which state or federal law requires bonding, or where duties include access to cash or assets valued at $2,500 or more.
“A job seeker’s ability to earn a decent living should not depend on how well they are weathering the greatest economic recession since the 1930s,” Gov. Quinn said in a statement. “This law will stop employers from denying a job or promotion based on information that is not an indicator of a person’s character or ability to do a job well.”