Chicago May Ban Discrimination Based on Unemployment or Bad Credit

While Illinois law already forbids an employer from basing hiring, promotion, and other employment discussions on an employee or job applicant's credit history, Chicago is considering a new law that would go further.

Alderman Pawar’s bill would mirror the enacted Illinois law to restrict credit checks in employment, but goes further by allowing Chicago residents to file a formal complaint with the city Human Rights Commission if a violation of the law occurs (in addition to the private right of action in the state bill.)

The Chicago bill also bans discrimination against the long-term unemployed.If passed, it would give Chicago job applicants the right to file a complaint with the Chicago Human Rights Commission as well. This law would put an end to the vicious cycle where the longer an employee is out of work, the harder it is to to find new work.

The proposed law is set for a full counsel vote later this month, on March 14, 2012.

See the Committee on Human Relations February 16, 2012, summary report