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Introduced Version House Bill 2532 History

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hb2532 intr
H. B. 2532


          (By Delegates Caputo, Longstreth, Diserio and Manchin)
          [Introduced February 19, 2013; referred to the
Committee on Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business then the Judiciary.]



A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §21-5G-1 and §21-5G- 2; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §33-11-5b, all relating to prohibiting the use of a person's credit history in employment hires except in limited circumstances where there is a legitimate job related purpose in requesting the credit history; and prohibiting the use of a person's credit history in certain insurance transactions.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
     That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §21-5G-1 and §21-5G-2; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §33-11-5b, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 21. LABOR.
ARTICLE 5G. EQUAL ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT FOR ALL ACT.
§21-5G-1. Legislative findings and purpose.
_____The Legislature finds and declares that:
_____(1) Consumer credit scores and credit reports often exclude relevant information or include inaccurate information, and some research, including a 2011 study conducted by the Policy and Economic Research Council, suggests that more than twenty million Americans have material errors on their credit reports;
_____(2) There is also evidence, according to researchers at the Center for Economic Justice and the National Consumer Law Center, that racial and ethnic disparities exist in, and are perpetuated by, consumer credit scoring and credit reporting;
_____(3) In spite of these systemic flaws, the nonpartisan public policy research and advocacy organization Demos concluded in its 2011 report"Discrediting America" that consumer credit scores and credit reports are being used more often and in more contexts than ever before, including by employers, utility companies, and insurers;
_____(4) Despite a lack of evidence showing that consumer credit history correlates to an individual's job performance or likelihood to commit fraud, the number of employers relying on consumer credit information to evaluate employees or potential employees has increased dramatically, with sixty percent of employers using consumer credit information to evaluate job candidates;
_____(5) Currently, job-seekers may have no way of knowing whether or not their credit scores are being used as a factor in considering their applications for employment; and
_____(6) People who have lost their jobs are more likely to have lower credit scores and yet, as a result of employers' use of credit information to make employment decisions, people with lower credit scores are less likely to become reemployed. The impact of this practice has been to create chronic barriers to employment for otherwise qualified people who may have a reduced credit score as a result of one or more layoffs in the family, being a single parent, a medical emergency, a divorce, or a death in the family. _____(7) The Legislature, therefore, intends to remove unnecessary barriers to employment and to mitigate some of the inequality that inheres in consumer credit information by ensuring that credit scoring is not used in making employment decisions unless it is legitimately related to the job.
§21-5G-2. Use of credit history, credit score or credit report _______________prohibited for employment purposes.
_____(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a person, including a prospective employer or current employer, may not use a credit history, credit score or credit report, or cause a credit history, credit score or credit report to be procured, with respect to any consumer where any information contained in the report bears on the consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity for employment purposes.
_____(b) The prohibition set forth in subsection (a) applies even if the consumer consents or otherwise authorizes the procurement or use of a credit history, credit score or credit report for employment purposes or in connection with an adverse action with respect to such consumer. ____
_____(c) Notwithstanding the prohibitions set forth in this section, an employer may use a credit history, credit score or credit report with respect to a consumer in the following situations:
_____(1) When the consumer applies for, or currently holds, employment that requires national security or FDIC clearance;
_____(2) When the consumer applies for, or currently holds, employment with a state or local government agency which otherwise requires use of a consumer report;
_____(3) When the consumer applies for, or currently holds, a supervisory, managerial, professional, or executive position at a financial institution;
_____(4) When the consumer applies for, or currently holds, employment as a law-enforcement officer; or
_____(5) When otherwise required by law.

CHAPTER 33. INSURANCE.

ARTICLE 11. UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES.
§33-11-5b. Use of credit history, credit score or credit report ________prohibited.
_____With respect to insurance policies for passenger motor vehicles, residential property or other personal insurance lines, no person may:
_____(1) Refuse to underwrite, cancel, refuse to renew a risk or increase a renewal premium based, in whole or in part, on the credit history, credit score or credit report of an applicant for insurance or an insured person;
_____(2) Rate a risk based, in whole or in part, on the credit history, credit score or credit report of an applicant for insurance or an insured person in any manner, including, but not limited to, the provision or removal of a discount, assigning an applicant or insured person to a rating tier, or placing an applicant or insured person with an affiliated company; or
_____(3) Require a particular payment plan based, in whole or in part, on the credit history, credit score or credit report of the applicant for insurance or the insured person.


     NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit the use of a person's credit history in employment hires except in limited circumstances where there is a legitimate job related purpose in requesting the credit history. The bill also prohibits the use of a person's credit history in insurance transactions.
     
     
     §§21-5G-1 and 2, and §33-11-5b are new; therefore, they have been completely underscored.
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