Thursday, November 26, 2009
It sounds cliché of course, but "bad things do happen to good people" especially in this economy where many millions of Americans that once had perfect credit scores have been ruined. Because of credit ruination, these millions of talented, motivated humans are being discriminated against as they try to either become re-employed or change jobs for higher pay. Think it couldn't happen to YOU? A recent large survey of Americans that had just lost their job reveals that more than 52% said that it came as a "complete total surprise" they never saw coming. If your pink slip arrives tomorrow, how long could your credit score weather unemployment? During this current recession, more than 36% of the unemployed are without a job for more than 6 months and once they're re-employed – most make far less than in their previous jobs. So with that suggested 6 months of savings for emergencies now gone, guess what happens when emergency No. 2 arrives? You guessed it . . . a bad credit score and the beginning of a personal finance death spiral.
Passage of H.R.3149: The Equal Employment Act for All is NOT a bailout, a handout, welfare, unemployment benefits or a stimulus package, nor will cost the taxpayer a dime or add one penny to the national debt. It will simply curb the injustice of using someone's credit report against them when they are qualified for the job, desperately want to work and can actually find a job – if it were not for their credit report. How could anyone argue with that?
Nonetheless, the bill sits stalled in the House of Representatives because "the people" no longer have a voice in Washington, D.C. since we don't have lobbyists working on our behalf. What's surprising, however, even in this horribly corrupt political environment is the obvious "pay-to-play" exchange taking place between Barney Frank and Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (the top three credit bureaus making a buck off of YOUR credit report being sold to employers). Each of these top three credit reporting companies have political action committees known as PACs (a.k.a. Packing Away Cash to buy votes and influence) and in the campaign year '07-'08 the maximum that two of the three contributed to any one campaign was $10 K with Experian contributing $5 K. Guess who pulled the lever for the big "cha-ching" of $25 K being contributed toward their re-election campaign? The Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services where the bill is stalled . . . none other than one Barney Frank (The same guy that most Americans believe got us into this horrible recession via pushing the banking industry to make loans to financially unqualified borrowers via Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae). We know of course that the dollars and the stalled H.R.3149 bill is merely coincidental and are NOT connected in any way whatsoever. Makes you want to wave old glory doesn't it?
At a time in America when we're suffering a 17.5% unemployment rate (16+ M people), 1 in 4 children and 50 M people starving and more than 14% of homeowners are either in foreclosure or at least a month behind with in their mortgage; "the people" (a.k.a. the voters) it seems don't warrant the attention of our representatives in Congress. The injustice of NOT allowing someone that is qualified to work and who can actually find a job to become re-employed is beyond all comprehension . . . at least to those of us without a Harvard MBA. One would think that H.R.3149 would be promoted during his week's White House summit on jobs creation, but such a simple, zero tax dollars required solution that would re-employ millions within a month is getting no air time from the media or attention from either the current administration or Congress. H.R.3149 is just way too simply and therefore must have passed right over their heads somehow.
Where is the uproar from our fellow citizens, why isn't H.R.3149 not the cause célèbre of our Hollywood elite? Are we the discriminated against invisible or just on the wrong continent? Such legislation is already law in Hawaii and being considered in several states, but "we the people" can't wait on a state-by-state crawl that may never arrive in our state. How many more American children will have to go hungry, homeowners lose their homes and yes, even commit suicide because no job = bad credit and bad credit = no job? Get involved America, this is YOUR cause!
Join our newly formed Facebook H.R.3149 Political Action Group today!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Setting aside the fact that compelling a job applicant to give up their right to privacy when seeking employment should be illegal, proponents of the use of credit reports for employment screening purposes say that a credit report is A) a good judge of character B) a good indicator of theft potential and C) a solid performance indicator
First, to reiterate, H.R. 3149 has provisions within the bill that would continue the use of credit report evaluation by potential employers for positions that have direct financial responsibilities and significant unchecked access to corporate funds. Secondly, with the laborous approval chains, checks and balances within companies and corporations, such "direct financial responsibilities and significant unchecked access to corporate funds" is less than 1% of all employees in America.
As an indicator of "character, theft potential and job performance" let's take a look at just a sampling of individuals during the past decade or so that have actually been convicted of multi-million/billion dollar "thefts" within their corporations. Logically we can safely assume that none of the following individuals had ever made even one late payment to any creditor and we can also safely assume that all had a 100% perfect credit score when they began "stealing" billions upon billons of dollars from their stock holders and corporations. This is just the short list of a few of the most high profile corporate "crooks" of the past decade or so:
Walter Forbes, Cendant Corporation Chairman of the Board
Bernard Ebbers, WorldCom CEO
Dennis Kozlowski, Tyco Intl. CEO
Kenneth Lay, Enron CEO
Bernard Madoff, Madoff Investment Securities LLC
In addition to the list above of actual convicted corporate "crooks" their exists an extremely long list of those with perfect credit ratings that turned out to at the very least, NOT to be good employees of the company (the same charge being levied against American workers with bad credit reports). These individuals however, while being very poor performers for their company, were rewarded with millions upon millions of dollars in salary while employed and huge golden parachutes when they left the company that they plundered . . . many of those corporations (including the first 3 on the following list) requiring a bailout by taxpayers just to stay afloat.
Lehman Brothers CEO, Richard Fuld
Bank of America CEO, Ken Lewis
General Motors CEO, Rick Wagoner
Clearly, we can see from the above review that those at the top of the food chain with perfect credit reports have the access, means and credability to "steal" millions, if not billions, of dollars from their corporations, while those American workers at the bottom of the food chain with the access to possibly steal a pencil or paper clip can't even get hired because of hiring discrimination based upon their credit reports. These workers instead are deemed "guilty until proven innocent" of having poor character, being poor performers on the job and being thieves (even though their criminal background check says "not true"). The American worker gets no golden parachute, no taxpayer bailouts and is getting no attention from our representatives in Congress.
This is immoral and a violation of the Bill of Rights as guaranteed the Constitution. Contact every member of the Financial Services Committee http://financialservices.house.gov/members.html TODAY and DEMAND they start earning their pay by responding to "we the people" by passing H.R. 3149: The Equal Employment for All Act out of committee and bring it to a vote in the House NOW!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sitting on the bill are the Chair and ranking members (above) of House Committee on Financial Services: (L-R) Alder, Akerman, Spenser and Frank http://www.govtrack.us/congress/committee.xpd?id=HSBA
"We the People" are NOT being heard and are being placed behind special interest groups and the high powered lobby in Washington. The bill was introduced in July and is just sitting in the Financial Services Committee gathering dust while the American worker is having their right to privacy violated and being discriminated against via the use of credit reports while seeking to become re-employed during the most horrible economic catastrophy since the Great Depression. While each and every U.S. Senator is making $170 K per year and will continue to make that for the rest of their life, "we the people" are losing our homes, 1 in 4 children and 50 M Americans starving, our savings are being depleted and we'll have to work the rest of our lives just becasue we cannot become gainfully re-employed due to discrimination and invasion of our privacy by use of our credit reports for hiring and promoting purposes.
This is immoral and a violation of our Constitutional rights as citizens. Contact every single member of the Financial Services Committee http://financialservices.house.gov/members.html
TODAY and DEMAND they start earning their pay by responding to "we the people" by passing H.R. 3149: The Equal Employment for All Act out of committee and bring it to a vote in the House NOW!
1) American citizens are guaranteed the right to privacy by the Bill of Rights and accessing credit reports for hiring and promotion decisions is an unwarrated invasion of the privacy guaranteed by our founding fathers within the Bill or Rights.
2) Credit reporting was originally created solely for evaluating the risks of issuing loans and credit to individuals and was never intended to be highjacked by employers to violate our right to privacy or to discriminate against job applicants or employees seeking promotions.
3) Criminal backgound checks are well within the scope of hiring evaluations and are completely adequate for making hiring and promotion decisions without spying into an individual's credit report.
4) At at time where identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the U.S. and 75% of credit reports already contain errors the unemployed cannot be additionally burdened with the months and years it typically requires to correct a credit reort error before they can "qualify" to become re-employed.
5) Employers are actually increasing the use of credit reports for employment evaluations at a time when 17.5% (16+ M) of Americans are unemployed, 1 in 4 children and 50 M Americans are starving unable to worry about a late payment to the utility company. Such draconian scrutiny is being applied by employers during a period when more than 14% of American homeowners are either in foreclosure or at least a month behind on their mortgage payments (as of Sep. 30, '09). Lose your job, lose your home, lose your right to work.
6) Privacy of an individual's medical records are protected by law in HIPPA legislation and the same should be true for credit reports when it comes to employment and promotions. How quickly would corporate American discriminate against someone with a terminal illness if they only could? What's the difference between that discrimination and credit discrimination? Nothing whatsoever! Unfair and unjust workplace discrimination should be against the law. Period!
7) Being forced by an employer to give access to a credit report for hiring and promotion purposes is a gross invasion of privacy, demeaning, intrusive and the ultimate in "big brother" control over the American worker.
H.R. 3149: The Equal Employment for All Act would make it illegal for any employer in America to access and utilize your credit report for hiring, termination or promotion decisions. The basic exceptions are as follows:
* When the consumer applies for, or currently holds national security or FDIC clearance.
* When the consumer applies for, or currently holds, employment with a State or
local government agency which otherwise requires use of a consumer report.
* When the consumer applies for, or currently holds, a supervisory professional, or executive position within a financial institution.
* When otherwise is required by law
While the bulleted exceptions above represent less than 1% of the entire U.S. workfore, presently as high as 90% of white collar workers and well over 40% of blue collar workers are having their privacy violated and are subject to discrimination of the basis of being forced to submit to a review of their credit report when applying for a job. It is a fact that 75% of all credit reports contain errors and if discovered can take months if not years to correct.
Video of Bill Introduction in July '09