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Don Burleson Blog 







How to use b
ad credit reports to weed out bad employees

Hiring Tips by Donald BurlesonMay 28, 2015

Part of my duties is helping companies screen computer professionals for trusted positions in large corporations, and I have developed a method for weeding out people with poor personal integrity. The stakes are high, and the screening is super-selective for DBA's in trusted positions (dealing with money and confidential information):

One of the hottest tickets for an Oracle DBA is to have an active security clearance because it saves employers a huge amount of effort when screening a job applicant.

Management Tips for using bad credit against employees

A history of slow payments has been positively correlated to immoral behavior and it is an excellent predictor of people who do not honor their obligations and who are unsuitable to work in a position of trust.

While there are rare cases where bad credit does not indicate moral turpitude, a manager who fails to take adverse actions against an employee who later steals may have violated their due diligence.

When an employee steals, a through investigation is conducted and if it is found that you did not do a credit check, or you ignored a bad credit report, you might be held partially responsible for bad management practices.

Robert Papaj list other acts of moral turpitude in his great book Firing Computer Professional, and he also lists unobtrusive ways to evaluate the honestly of a computer systems professional.  Also see a sample questionnaire to screen employees for immoral histories.

I have heard every excuse in the book as people rationalize why they stiffed a creditor, and they paint them to make them look innocent.

  • One job candidate says that a catastrophic illness forced him into bankruptcy, while an honorable candidate says that he is paying on a huge medical debt for decades.

  • One candidate says that they were "forced" to walk away from a mortgage because the home had lost value, while an honest candidate pays double mortgages until they are free of their bad investment.

A history of late payments may indicate somebody of questionable character and I've yet to meet an honest man who has truly been unable to meet their contractual obligations.  Even if they have to sell their plasma, pawn granny's jewels or take out a second mortgage, honest people will always work hard to honor their obligations.

The only exception I've seen was a case where an employer asked a employee to travel overseas for an extended engagement, racking up a $30,000 AMEX bill and not reimbursing them for 120 days.

Giver that we live in a free country where employers have the right to hold bad credit against a potential employee (or an existing employee), there are some Federal Guidelines titled Using Consumer Reports:  what Employers need to know.  

It appears to be legal to reject any potential employee (job candidate) who refuses to submit to a credit check.  For existing employees who might refuse a credit check, employers will often find other valid reason for terminating the employee. 

This document has these important tips for using bad credit to reject a job applicant:

Employers right to reject people with bad credit:  As an employer, you may use consumer reports when you hire new employees and when you evaluate employees for promotion, reassignment, and retention — as long as you comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Sections 604, 606, and 615 of the FCRA spell out your responsibilities when using consumer reports for employment purposes.

Get Permission First:  Before you can get a consumer report for employment purposes, you must notify the individual in writing — in a document consisting solely of this notice — that a report may be used. You also must get the person's written authorization before you ask a Credit Reporting Agency for the report.

Notification is Required:  "1) that individuals are aware that consumer reports may be used for employment purposes and agree to such use, and (2) that individuals are notified promptly if information in a consumer report may result in a negative employment decision." 

Adverse Action Disclosure:  When firing an employee or denying a job based on bad credit, "You must give the individual a pre-adverse action disclosure that includes a copy of the individual's consumer report and a copy of "A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act".

Noncompliance is costly:  Acting on a bad credit report without getting permission first or filing the adverse action paperwork with the employee (or job candidate) opens you up to punitive damages:  "There are legal consequences for employers who fail to get an applicant's permission before requesting a consumer report or who fail to provide pre-adverse action disclosures and adverse action notices to unsuccessful job applicants. The FCRA allows individuals to sue employers for damages in federal court. A person who successfully sues is entitled to recover court costs and reasonable legal fees. The law also allows individuals to seek punitive damages for deliberate violations."





Burleson is the American Team

Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

Verify experience! Anyone considering using the services of an Oracle support expert should independently investigate their credentials and experience, and not rely on advertisements and self-proclaimed expertise. All legitimate Oracle experts publish their Oracle qualifications.

Errata?  Oracle technology is changing and we strive to update our BC Oracle support information.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback.  Just  e-mail:  

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