Effective April 7, 2017, The D.C. Human Rights Act has been amended to prohibit employers, with limited exceptions, from discriminating against job applicants and current employees based on their credit information.
Key Provisions of the Ordinance
- It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations to directly or indirectly require, request, suggest, or cause any prospective and current employees to submit credit information, or use, accept, refer to, or inquire into an employee’s credit information.
- where an employer is otherwise required by District law to require, request, suggest, or cause any employee to submit credit information, or use, accept, refer to, or inquire into an employee’s credit information;
- where an employee is applying for a position as or is employed as a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Department, as a special police officer or campus police officer ;
- the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia;
- where an employee is required to possess a security clearance under District law ;
- disclosures by District government employees of their credit information to the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability or the Office of the Inspector General, or to the use of such disclosures by those agencies ;
- financial institutions, where the position involves access to personal financial information; and
- where an employer requests or receives credit information pursuant to a lawful subpoena, court order, or law enforcement investigation.
Credit Information- any written, oral, or other communication of information bearing on an employee’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, or credit history.
Inquire- any direct or indirect conduct intended to gather credit information using any method, including application forms, interviews, and credit history checks.
Financial Institution- any bank, savings institution, credit union, foreign bank, trust company, non-depository financial institution, or any other person which is regulated, supervised, examined, or licensed by the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking; which has applied to be regulated, supervised, examined, or licensed by the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking; which is subject to the regulation, supervision, examination, or licensure by the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking; or which is engaged in an activity covered by the District of Columbia Banking Code.
- Review your background check practices to ensure compliance with the new requirements, including that your employment practices do not directly or indirectly request credit information unless an exemption is met.
- Review your applications and other employment-related documents to ensure there are no references to the procurement or use of credit information.
- Train all individuals involved in recruitment, hiring, and interviewing to comply with the requirements of this law.