A proposed class action has been filed against Carolina First Bank, N.A. over its alleged use of job applicants’ credit histories to deny employment to individuals otherwise qualified for positions with the bank. While the bank reportedly discontinued its policy of performing credit checks on job applicants in 2011, the 11-page lawsuit changes Carolina First’s practice of screen and rejecting job applicants based on their credit details in the first place amounted to a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights act due to its “significant adverse impact” upon African American job applicants.
From the complaint:
“Prior to April 20, 2011, the Bank performed credit checks on its applicants for positions across the Bank’s departments, as part of its Screening Process. The Bank’s credit report guideline excluded job applicants based on their credit report history for: (1) unpaid balances on non-medical collections accounts or balances on liens or judgments appearing in public records; and (2) unpaid balances, charge offs, voluntary or involuntary repossessions, paid or unpaid foreclosures, and accounts in dispute for credit accounts.”
The lawsuit, citing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), states Carolina First’s credit check screen process “excluded African American applicants from employment at a rate three times that of white applicants.” More specifically, the complaint slams the defendant’s former job application process as “far too over-inclusive,” especially with regard to applicants whose credit histories had mistakes or resolved disputes. Carolina First allegedly did not have any procedures in place for determining whether credit report entries were untimely, resolved or erroneous, the suit claims.