I think I  maintain a realistic view of the universe, but I have to admit I was surprised to read results from a 2009 SHRM survey — that 60% of employers say they use candidates’ credit reports to influence hiring decisions. Wow. And here I was thinking that my credit report would only determine whether I got a house, car or credit card — not a job.

This week, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law that prohibits employers from using employees’ or potential employees’ credit histories against them. The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2011, says employers can’t ask about employee/candidate credit reports, and can’t hire/fire based on credit reports.

The law puts the state in line with the 40% of employers who tell SHRM they never use credit reports in hiring anyway, and the 47% who say they use them only for select positions.

But it’s my blog and I’m nosy, so I’ll ask: Does your company use credit reports to cull prospective employees? Do you think it’s a sound practice in general?

What if an employee was picture-perfect for an opening at your company, but had a credit score of 480? Would you hire/not hire? Sound off in the comments.

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