Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 6641

January Session, 2011

 

LCO No. 5111

 

*05111_______JUD*

Referred to Committee on Judiciary

 

Introduced by:

 

(JUD)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF CREDIT REPORTS IN EMPLOYMENT DECISIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2011) (a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Employee" means any person engaged in service to an employer in the business of the employer; and

(2) "Employer" has the meaning set forth in section 31-51i of the general statutes, as amended by this act.

(b) No employer or employer's agent, representative or designee may require an applicant or employee to consent to a credit inquiry that contains information about the applicant's or employee's credit worthiness, credit standing or credit capacity, or savings or checking account balances or savings or checking account numbers, as a condition of employment unless:

(1) Such employer is a broker-dealer or investment adviser registered under chapter 672a of the general statutes, an insured depository institution, or an insurance producer licensed under chapter 701a of the general statutes, that is permitted to obtain information concerning the criminal history record of such applicant or employee under subsection (g) of section 31-51i of the general statutes, as amended by this act;

(2) Such report is required by law;

(3) As a condition of employment, such applicant or employee is (A) required to be licensed as an insurance producer, as defined in section 38a-702a of the general statutes, or (B) required to obtain any other license, certification or registration if such license, certification or registration is subject to suspension, revocation, a refusal to issue or a refusal to renew on the basis of an act or omission that demonstrates financial irresponsibility or gross financial irresponsibility; or

(4) The employer or employer's agent, representative or designee reasonably believes that the applicant or employee has engaged in specific activity that constitutes a violation of the law related to the employee's employment.

(c) Any applicant or employee may file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner alleging a violation of subsection (b) of this section. Upon the request of any party, the commissioner shall hold a hearing in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes. An employer or employer's agent, representative or designee shall be liable to the Labor Department for a civil penalty of three hundred dollars for each credit inquiry the employer, agent, representative or designee makes in violation of subsection (b) of this section.

(d) The Attorney General, upon complaint of the Labor Commissioner, shall institute a civil action to recover the penalties provided for under subsection (c) of this section. Any amount recovered shall be deposited in the General Fund and credited to a separate nonlapsing appropriation to the Labor Department, for other current expenses, and may be used by the Labor Department to enforce the provisions of this section.

Sec. 2. Section 31-51i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

(a) For the purposes of this section, "employer" means any person engaged in business who has one or more employees, including the state or any political subdivision of the state.

(b) No employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee may require an applicant or employee [or prospective employee] to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a.

(c) An employment application form that contains any question concerning the criminal history of the applicant shall contain a notice, in clear and conspicuous language: (1) That the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a, (2) that criminal records subject to erasure pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a are records pertaining to a finding of delinquency or that a child was a member of a family with service needs, an adjudication as a youthful offender, a criminal charge that has been dismissed or nolled, a criminal charge for which the person has been found not guilty or a conviction for which the person received an absolute pardon, and (3) that any person whose criminal records have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a shall be deemed to have never been arrested within the meaning of the general statutes with respect to the proceedings so erased and may so swear under oath.

(d) No employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee shall deny employment to [a prospective employee] an applicant solely on the basis that the [prospective employee] applicant had a prior arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a or that the [prospective employee] applicant had a prior conviction for which the [prospective employee] applicant has received a provisional pardon pursuant to section 54-130a.

(e) No employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee shall discharge, or cause to be discharged, or in any manner discriminate against, any employee solely on the basis that the employee had, prior to being employed by such employer, an arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a or that the employee had, prior to being employed by such employer, a prior conviction for which the employee has received a provisional pardon pursuant to section 54-130a.

(f) The portion of an employment application form which contains information concerning the criminal history record of an applicant or employee shall only be available to the members of the personnel department of the company, firm or corporation or, if the company, firm or corporation does not have a personnel department, the person in charge of employment, and to any employee or member of the company, firm or corporation, or an agent of such employee or member, involved in the interviewing of the applicant.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of this section, the portion of an employment application form which contains information concerning the criminal history record of an applicant or employee may be made available as necessary to persons other than those specified in said subsection (f) by:

(1) A broker-dealer or investment adviser registered under chapter 672a in connection with (A) the possible or actual filing of, or the collection or retention of information contained in, a form U-4 Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer, (B) the compliance responsibilities of such broker-dealer or investment adviser under state or federal law, or (C) the applicable rules of self-regulatory organizations promulgated in accordance with federal law;

(2) An insured depository institution in connection with (A) the management of risks related to safety and soundness, security or privacy of such institution, (B) any waiver that may possibly or actually be sought by such institution pursuant to section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 USC 1829(a), (C) the possible or actual obtaining by such institution of any security or fidelity bond, or (D) the compliance responsibilities of such institution under state or federal law; and

(3) An insurance producer licensed under chapter 701a in connection with (A) the management of risks related to security or privacy of such insurance producer, or (B) the compliance responsibilities of such insurance producer under state or federal law.

(h) (1) For the purposes of this subsection: (A) "Consumer reporting agency" means any person who regularly engages, in whole or in part, in the practice of assembling or preparing consumer reports for a fee, which reports compile and report items of information on consumers that are matters of public record and are likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer's ability to obtain employment, but does not include any public agency; (B) "consumer report" means any written, oral or other communication of information bearing on an individual's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics or mode of living; and (C) "criminal matters of public record" means information obtained from the Judicial Department relating to arrests, indictments, convictions, outstanding judgments, and any other conviction information, as defined in section 54-142g.

(2) Each consumer reporting agency that issues a consumer report that is used or is expected to be used for employment purposes and that includes in such report criminal matters of public record concerning the consumer shall:

(A) At the time the consumer reporting agency issues such consumer report to a person other than the consumer who is the subject of the report, provide the consumer who is the subject of the consumer report (i) notice that the consumer reporting agency is reporting criminal matters of public record, and (ii) the name and address of the person to whom such consumer report is being issued;

(B) Maintain procedures designed to ensure that any criminal matter of public record reported is complete and up-to-date as of the date the consumer report is issued, which procedures shall, at a minimum, conform to the requirements set forth in section 54-142e.

(3) This subsection shall not apply in the case of an agency or department of the United States government seeking to obtain and use a consumer report for employment purposes if the head of the agency or department makes a written finding pursuant to 15 USC 1681b(b)(4)(A).

(4) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to permit an employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee to obtain a consumer report that contains information bearing on an individual's credit worthiness, credit standing or credit capacity in violation of section 1 of this act.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2011

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2011

31-51i

Statement of Purpose:

To limit the use of credit reports by employers and prospective employers, except with respect to certain financial occupations, in order to provide additional employment opportunities for individuals.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]