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California To Restrict Credit Checks In Hiring

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – New restrictions in the hiring process will take effect in the new year, and now California will be one of seven states that will restrict the use of credit checks for employment.

Similar bills were vetoed three times by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but this year the regulations were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Assemblyman Tony Mendoza said that the bill prevents employers from routinely using credit checks.

KCBS' Susan Kennedy Reports:

"A credit check will not determine a person's trustworthiness or their work ethic. It has nothing to do with them," said Mendoza. "A lot of people might not even have credit. And a lot of people coming out of college have really bad credit because they're in a lot of debt."

Mendoza said that he heard from a number of people who said they were denied jobs because of their credit.

"The problem with the new California law is that the categories that were created are a little bit ambiguous and it's unclear who falls into what category," said Les Rosen, CEO of Employment Screening Resources in Novato. "We argued that the law should have simply stated that the lawyer has to state a good reason to run a check."

The law exempts certain jobs - including law enforcement, government and a number of financial positions.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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