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MD Lawmaker Reintroduces Bill To Ban Credit Checks In Hiring Process

WASHINGTON -- For many of the 6.4 million Americans who have been unemployed for six months or longer, the prospect of finding a new job is daunting enough with a massive employment gap on their resumes. Checkered credit histories can be an even greater hurdle to clear.

In a move that may even the playing field for some of the long-term unemployed, Maryland State Delegate Kirill Reznik (D-Germantown) introduced a bill on Friday that would prohibit Maryland employers, with a few exceptions, from using a person's credit history as a screening tool for hiring and retention decisions. The Germantown delegate introduced the same bill last year without success, but similar legislation has now passed in Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon and Washington.

Maryland House Bill 87, called the Job Applicant Fairness Act, exempts financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, and law-enforcement agencies that are required to perform credit checks. Reznik told HuffPost that the legislation is mainly intended to help blue-collar workers.