Help Wanted

August 28, 2011

An individual’s credit report should be an issue between said individual and that individual’s creditors. A potential employer can’t ask me about my health. Why is inside information about my financial health permitted?”

And this hiring tool becomes especially obnoxious in a country with a high rate of employment, a disturbing foreclosure rate and a high number of people driven into bankruptcy. I think that any potential employer has a right to investigate me for a potential criminal background. And you could make the case that certain jobs (such as those involving national security or the financial sector) would require searches of applicants’ credit reports.

Otherwise, it strikes me as being a lazy hiring practice. Millions of Americans, including those who are employed, have had their finances smashed. It is outrageous that we should have to listen to somebody tut-tutting under their breath about our finances. We know our credit ratings have slipped. That’s why we are looking for a job — so that we can pay our bills and restore our financial health.

More than two years after the end of the recession, 14 million Americans remain out of work. The “Help Wanted” project follows six unemployed people from across the country as they struggle to pay the bills, preserve relationships and hold on to hope for the future. The project seeks to show the true affect of joblessness — through the eyes of the unemployed. To read more from the front lines of America’s jobless ranks, go to www.washingtonpost.com/helpwanted.

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