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New Orleans bars credit checks on employees of city contractors

Effective Dec. 23, 2016, New Orleans’ “Equal Access to Employment Act” will make it unlawful for city contractors to request or use applicants’ or employees’ consumer credit information as the basis for any employment-related decision.

Specifically, the law—which was signed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu on July 1, 2016—states that it will now be impermissible for city contractors to request on considered consumer credit information for “any decision regarding the hiring and compensation or the 67 terms, conditions or privileges of employment.”

All city contractors, regardless of size, will be subject to the requirements of the new law. The Equal Access to Employment Act will cover all employees who perform at least 40 hours of work within a calendar year on city contract within in the City of New Orleans. Credit history may continue to be used if it is established as a bona fide occupational qualification for the position, such as positions that require a credit check by state or federal law or positions with certain fiduciary responsibilities.

The law firm Ogletree Deakins advises that while the Equal Access to Employment Act only applies to city contractors, it is likely that the Louisiana state legislature may also enact legislation to address employment-related credit checks. The state has previously followed in New Orleans’ footsteps in with the enactment of employment-related laws, such as “Ban the Box,” which was enacted by New Orleans in 2014 and then by the state in 2016.

Source: Ogletree Deakins, 7/26/2016

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