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Are Credit Checks Legal When Looking For Work?

Short answer: Unfortunately, yes.

Long answer:  This is an area where things get a bit gray.  

Certainly, it seems a strange thing to look at and perhaps it starts to broach a little close to the discrimination based on socio-economic situation and background.

Actually, no, I take that back.

It definitely steps over that line, in my opinion.

While some companies will toe a corporate policy line and plead "risk mitigation" all they want, it still comes down to one word -- Discrimination.  If the reason you have decided not to hire someone is because they owe money to varying places due to being out of work and those bills they had to "let go" for a few months, even a few years (who cares at this point, because the fact is they could not afford to pay them because they didn't have work) and you won't hire them because of it you are assuming that they will not make a good employee based on the fact that they are too poor for your liking.

That is, in my book, discrimination.  It's legal, but it doesn't make it right.

As someone (and I'm not ashamed to admit it) who comes from that kind of a background where my parents always lived paycheque to paycheque and who didn't get the same advantages as others whose parents could afford to buy a car, even if on credit, and lived in a house.  I have always had issues finding work because I couldn't afford to finish college because I had to find work to pay for food and put a roof over my head because my parents couldn't afford to help me out when I needed it in order to finish.

And I have paid for it ever since... I have had to work in jobs that didn't pay the same as I could have made had I finished college.  I have had situations arise where I had to skip paying a bill in order to pay for surprise expenses, but I have always managed to catch up again because I put in the extra time to do so.

Okay, Kristan, what's the point here?

I have accrued debts, I know that, but I have always worked to pay them off.  What bugs me is that there is a certain company, among others, that will not hire people like me because that's our social and economic background.

They call it risk mitigation.

I call it discrimination.

I am more motivated to go into work because I know exactly what will happen if I don't.  I'm not the only one in my city, or even in my province... or even in my country... who has been turned away by companies like these and then told we're not working hard enough to 'catch up'.

They call it risk mitigation.

They can call it whatever they want.

It's still discrimination, and that's why I'm going to fight it.  Not just for me, and not just this company.  I mean for the others in my situation and against this type of discrimination.  I will not stop fighting until it's called for what it is and it becomes illegal.

Discrimination is wrong, it doesn't matter if it's racial, gender, religious... or economic.

Keep calling it risk mitigation.

I won't stop until it gets called by its real name, and that name is discrimination.


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