Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of Public Act 096-1426
Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Public Act 096-1426




Public Act 096-1426
HB4658 EnrolledLRB096 13351 KTG 28052 b

    AN ACT concerning employment.
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
Employee Credit Privacy Act.
    Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
    "Credit history" means an individual's past borrowing and
repaying behavior, including paying bills on time and managing
debt and other financial obligations.
    "Credit report" means any written or other communication of
any information by a consumer reporting agency that bears on a
consumer's creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity,
or credit history.
    "Employee" means an individual who receives compensation
for performing services for an employer under an express or
implied contract of hire.
    "Employer" means an individual or entity that permits one
or more individuals to work or that accepts applications for
employment or is an agent of an employer. "Employer" does not,
however, include:
        (1) Any bank holding company, financial holding
    company, bank, savings bank, savings and loan association,
    credit union, or trust company, or any subsidiary or
    affiliate thereof, that is authorized to do business under
    the laws of this State or of the United States.
        (2) Any company authorized to engage in any kind of
    insurance or surety business pursuant to the Illinois
    Insurance Code, including any employee, agent, or employee
    of an agent acting on behalf of a company engaged in the
    insurance or surety business.
        (3) Any State law enforcement or investigative unit,
    including, without limitation, any such unit within the
    Office of any Executive Inspector General, the Department
    of State Police, the Department of Corrections, the
    Department of Juvenile Justice, or the Department of
    Natural Resources.
        (4) Any State or local government agency which
    otherwise requires use of the employee's or applicant's
    credit history or credit report.
        (5) Any entity that is defined as a debt collector
    under federal or State statute.
    "Financial information" means non-public information on
the overall financial direction of an organization, including,
but not limited to, company taxes or profit and loss reports.
    "Marketable assets" means company property that is
specially safeguarded from the public and to which access is
only entrusted to managers and select other employees. For the
purposes of this Act, marketable assets do not include the
fixtures, furnishings, or equipment of an employer.
    "Personal or confidential information" means sensitive
information that a customer or client of the employing
organization gives explicit authorization for the organization
to obtain, process, and keep; that the employer entrusts only
to managers and a select few employees; or that is stored in
secure repositories not accessible by the public or low-level
    "State or national security information" means information
only offered to select employees because it may jeopardize the
security of the State or the nation if it were entrusted to the
general public.
    "Trade secrets" means sensitive information regarding a
company's overall strategy or business plans. This does not
include general proprietary company information such as
handbooks, policies, or low-level strategies.
    Section 10. Employment based on credit history or credit
report not permitted.
    (a) Except as provided in this Section, an employer shall
not do any of the following:
        (1) Fail or refuse to hire or recruit, discharge, or
    otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect
    to employment, compensation, or a term, condition, or
    privilege of employment because of the individual's credit
    history or credit report.
        (2) Inquire about an applicant's or employee's credit
        (3) Order or obtain an applicant's or employee's credit
    report from a consumer reporting agency.
    (b) The prohibition in subsection (a) of this Section does
not prevent an inquiry or employment action if a satisfactory
credit history is an established bona fide occupational
requirement of a particular position or a particular group of
an employer's employees. A satisfactory credit history is not a
bona fide occupational requirement unless at least one of the
following circumstances is present:
        (1) State or federal law requires bonding or other
    security covering an individual holding the position.
        (2) The duties of the position include custody of or
    unsupervised access to cash or marketable assets valued at
    $2,500 or more.
        (3) The duties of the position include signatory power
    over business assets of $100 or more per transaction.
        (4) The position is a managerial position which
    involves setting the direction or control of the business.
        (5) The position involves access to personal or
    confidential information, financial information, trade
    secrets, or State or national security information.
        (6) The position meets criteria in administrative
    rules, if any, that the U.S. Department of Labor or the
    Illinois Department of Labor has promulgated to establish
    the circumstances in which a credit history is a bona fide
    occupational requirement.
        (7) The employee's or applicant's credit history is
    otherwise required by or exempt under federal or State law.
    Section 15. Retaliatory or discriminatory acts. A person
shall not retaliate or discriminate against a person because
the person has done or was about to do any of the following:
        (1) File a complaint under this Act.
        (2) Testify, assist, or participate in an
    investigation, proceeding, or action concerning a
    violation of this Act.
        (3) Oppose a violation of this Act.
    Section 20. Waiver. An employer shall not require an
applicant or employee to waive any right under this Act. An
agreement by an applicant or employee to waive any right under
this Act is invalid and unenforceable.
    Section 25. Remedies.
    (a) A person who is injured by a violation of this Act may
bring a civil action in circuit court to obtain injunctive
relief or damages, or both.
    (b) The court shall award costs and reasonable attorney's
fees to a person who prevails as a plaintiff in an action
authorized under subsection (a) of this Section.
    Section 30. Fair Credit Reporting Act. Nothing in this Act
shall prohibit employers from conducting a thorough background
investigation, which may include obtaining a report without
information on credit history or an investigative report
without information on credit history, or both, as permitted
under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This information shall be
used for employment purposes only.

Effective Date: 1/1/2011