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Senate bans use of credit history in hiring decisions

CONCORD — The state Senate Thursday passed by voice vote legislation that would prohibit employers from using a prospective employee’s credit history in making an employment decisions.

Senate Bill 295 was amended to create a broad exemption that would allow employers to include credit history as a consideration if they believe a lack of access to those records “may adversely impact the employer’s business, the welfare of other employees or welfare of other individuals associated with the employer or the employer’s business.”

Sen. Molly Kelly, D-Keene, opposed the amendment, challenging the notion that an employee’s credit history can hurt a business or its employees.

“What is the connection?” she asked. “I don’t see one.”

But Sen. Andy Sanborn, R-Bedford, said employers must be allowed to complete “a reasonable review,” especially regarding positions in which money is handled.

Sen. Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, said the original bill contained adequate protections.

The bill does not apply to state and local public agencies.

Also Thursday, the Senate passed legislation requiring the state Department of Insurance to hold at least two public hearings before approving any new products to be sold on the federally-run state health exchange.

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