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New City Law Will Limit Employers’ Use Of Applicants’ And Employees’ Credit Information

On May 6, 2015, the mayor signed a new “Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act.” This law, which amends the New York City Human Rights Law, generally prohibits employers from requesting or using the consumer credit histories of applicants or employees for employment purposes, or otherwise discriminating against applicants or employees with respect to hiring, compensation, or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on their consumer credit history.


The law, which will take effect on September 3, 2015, permits employers to request and consider consumer credit history information only in narrowly limited circumstances, or in response to a lawful subpoena, court order, or law enforcement investigation. It exempts positions:

  • for which employers are required by law, regulation, or a self-regulatory organization to use an individual’s consumer credit history for employment purposes;
  • that require the employee to be bonded under federal, state, or city law;
  • that require a security clearance under federal or state law, or are non-clerical jobs in public safety;
  • that entail regular access to trade secrets or national security information;
  • that have signatory authority over third-party assets valued in excess of $10,000;
  • that involve a fiduciary responsibility to the employer with the authority to enter into financial agreements on behalf of the employer in excess of $10,000; or
  • that involve regular duties that allow the employee to modify digital security systems established to prevent the unauthorized use of networks or databases of the employer or the employer’s client.