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8:57 PM / Saturday December 3, 2022

29 Jan 2016

Council President Clarke seeks to end discriminatory practice of employer credit checks

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January 29, 2016 Category: Local Posted by:

Also proposes legislation to further reduce red tape for demolition contractors

City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) on Thursday proposed legislation that would prohibit employers in most cases from obtaining the credit histories of employees and job applicants.

Employers also would be prohibited from using credit histories to make decisions adversely affecting employees or job applicants, unless relevant to duties and responsibilities. Law enforcement agencies and financial institutions would be exempted from this regulation, as well as employment situations in which personal financial history is relevant to job duties and responsibilities.

“It is past time for the City of Philadelphia to formally call out employer credit checks as a discriminatory practice that exacerbates income inequality,” Council President Clarke said. “The difference between ‘good credit’ and ‘bad credit’ can be as simple as an illness, loss of a loved one, or a car breaking down. Unbelievably, employers can negatively impact employees’ credit by reducing their work hours, and then punish or even fire employees for having less-than-optimal credit. When someone’s personal financial history is irrelevant to their ability to do their job, it should be no one’s concern but their own.”

Also on Thursday, Council President Clarke called for contractors to inform the public about planned demolitions earlier than is currently required. If approved, contractors would be required to post notice of demolition upon application for demolition permit from the Department of Licenses and Inspections.

“Faster notice of demolition will give neighboring properties that might be affected more time to prepare, and will make construction and development in Philadelphia more efficient,” Council President Clarke said.

The ordinance, which amends the Philadelphia Building Construction and Occupancy Code, must also be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

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