Credit reports. The Job Applicant Fairness Act prohibits employers from, among other things, discharging employees on the basis of their credit history or credit report. The Act covers all employers except:
• Employers that are required by federal or state law to check an applicant's or employee's credit report or history;
• Financial institutions that accept deposits that are insured by a federal agency;
• A credit union share guaranty corporation that is approved by the state's financial regulation commissioner; and
• Investment advisors registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (MD Labor and Employment Code Sec. 3-711).
Under some circumstances, employers may use a credit report or credit history, including when the employer requests the information for a "bona fide purpose" that is "substantially job-related." The employer must inform the employee of the bona fide purpose. Examples of positions for which an employer would have a substantially job-related bona fide purpose for using a credit history or report include:
• Managerial positions that involve setting the direction or control of the business, department, division, unit, or agency of a business;
• Positions that involve access to personal information, except personal information usually provided in a retail ...