UNITE HERE and National Civil Rights Leaders Call on TransUnion to Stop Selling Credit Reports to Employers

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    UNITE HERE and National Civil Rights Leaders Call on TransUnion to Stop Selling Credit Reports to Employers

    PR Newswire

    *** PRESS TELECONFERENCE ***

    LOS ANGELES, Oct. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A group of over twenty-five civil rights organizations, consumer advocates and labor unions will release a letter today, October 11, calling on TransUnion to immediately stop its sale of credit reports to employers, which have a discriminatory impact on African American and Latino applicants. TransUnion has led the credit reporting industry in fighting state legislation that would restrict the ability of employers to check credit on job applicants.

    WHAT: Telephone Press Conference by leaders of national civil rights organizations, consumer advocates and labor unions that are calling on TransUnion to stop its sale of credit reports to employers

    WHERE: Conference Call: please contact Nat Lippert (nlippert@unitehere.org or 415-307-1231) for call-in information

    WHEN: Tuesday, October 11, 2011; 3:00pm EDT/ 2:00pm CT / 12:00pm PDT

    WHO: Terry O'Neill, President, National Organization for Women;
    Barbara Arnwine, Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law;
    Marielena Hincapie, Executive Director; National Immigration Law Center;
    Hilary Shelton, Senior Vice President for Advocacy, NAACP;
    Rev. Eric Lee, President and CEO, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles;
    Janis Bowdler, Director, Wealth-Building Policy Project, National Council of La Raza

    Sixty percent of employers now use credit reports in their hiring, according to a 2010 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. Civil rights groups contend that credit checks have a discriminatory impact on African American and Latino applicants, whose average credit scores are markedly lower than those of whites. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued two employers over this practice, alleging that it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

    The groups also state concern in their letter about the impact of employment credit checks on women, recent immigrants, senior citizens and people with disabilities. They point out that at a time when Americans need jobs more than ever, a poor credit history due to a layoff, divorce or medical bill can keep qualified applicants out of employment.

    This weekend California became the seventh state to restrict the use of credit reports in employment. More than twenty other state legislatures, multiple city councils and Congress have considered legislation in the past year that would do the same. Other recent initiatives, such as President Obama's call to end discrimination against the unemployed, have echoed the need for fairness in hiring in the context of record-high long-term unemployment.

    For more information on the use of credit reports in employment, and to sign on to the letter circulated by these groups, please visit www.creditcatch22.org.

    SOURCE UNITE HERE