D.C. Fair Credit in Employment Amendment

The District of Columbia Council passed the Fair Credit in Employment Amendment of 2016 on December 20, 2016, and has now been transmitted to Mayor Muriel Bowser for final approval. Mayor Bowser has until February 16, 2017 to either approve or veto the Act.

If enacted, D.C. employers will be prohibited from "directly or indirectly requiring, requesting, suggesting, or causing an employee or applicant to submit credit information,  or inquiring about a current employee or prospective employee's credit information.  If enacted, it would amend the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977.  If Mayor Bowser approves the Act, D.C. would join 11 states (including Maryland), as well as other localities, that have enacted similar laws which limit the use of credit checks in the hiring process.

However, there are certain circumstances that the Act will allow employers to inquire or obtain an applicant or employee's credit information:

  1.  If the employer is required by existing law to ask for credit information.
  2.  The employee is required to possess a security clearance under D.C. law.
  3. Where an employer requests or receives credit information in a lawful manner "Subpoena, court order"
  4. If the position involves "access to personal financial information".

Employers will be forced to pay a $1,000 fine for the first violation, $2,500 for the second violation, and $5,000 for each repeat violation.