Ready, Set, Hire.

Every day, while we typically hear of companies instituting hiring freezes, furloughs, and layoffs, certain essential businesses – cleaning companies, healthcare facilities, some retailers like supermarkets, and delivery services – appear to be hiring at a record pace to meet the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their hiring methods, however, are different for several reasons. First, given social distancing and state and local orders to stay at home, many companies are choosing to interview by phone or video. Second, quickly onboarding individuals can be a challenge, particularly when background checks may take longer than usual due in part to court closures and delayed verifications, e.g., an employer may not be available for a reference.

This may get even more complicated for companies, where permissible, traditionally conducted credit checks on certain positions. On March 23, 2020, California Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) presented a bill to amend the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) in response to the COVID-19 crisis, entitled “The Disaster Protection for Workers’ Credit Act.” According to Sherman, “The Disaster Protection for Workers’ Credit Act will put in place an immediate moratorium on all negative credit reporting, which will stay in place for four months. Individuals who face continued financial hardship as a result of the outbreak will also be covered by additional longer-lasting protections … In addition, this bill will specifically prevent any negative information associated with medical debt incurred for treatment of COVID-19 from impacting credit reports and credit scores. All these protections will go into effect for the current crisis as well as other future major disasters.”

See bill under the same name was introduced before the U.S. Senate on March 17, 2020, by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). As for the purpose of the bill, Senator Schatz says, “As some families struggle with job losses or reduced incomes, they may fall behind in paying their bills. These late payments could hurt their … applying for a job … long after the crisis is over.” FULL ARTICLE

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