In late July 2011, Connecticut passed a law restricting employers’ access to employee’s or potential employee’s credit reports. Public Act No. 11-223 prohibits employers from requiring an employee or prospective employee to consent to a credit report request as a condition of employment, unless one of the following conditions is met:
- The employer is a financial institution;
- A credit report is required by law;
- The employer reasonably believes that the employee has engaged in specific activity that constitutes a violation of the law related to the employee’s employment; or
- A credit report is substantially related to an employee’s current or potential job or the employer has a bona fide purpose for requesting or using information in the credit report that is substantially job-related.
The new statute defines “substantially related to an employee’s current or potential job” to include a number of situation where an employee or potential employee would have managerial or fiduciary responsibilities, or would have access to personal information, confidential business information, or other sensitive data. Connecticut’s statute becomes effective October 1, 2011. This law is similar to employer credit report restrictions that have recently been enacted in other states, such as Illinois and Oregon.