Bill Would Prohibit Employment Discrimination Based on Credit Report

On Thursday, August 27 (10:00 a.m. – 415 NW, State Capitol) the Assembly Committee on Workforce Development will hold a public hearing on Assembly Bill 367. Below is information about the bill:



  • Current law prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of age, race, creed, color disability, marital status, sex, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, arrest record, conviction record, military service, or use or nonuse of a lawful product off the employer’s premises during nonworking hours.

  • AB 367 would prohibit employment discrimination based credit history. The bill specifies that employment discrimination because of credit history includes an employer, labor organization, employment agency, licensing agency, or other person requesting an applicant or employee to procure the individual’s credit history.

  • The bill provides an exemption where: 1) circumstances of an individual’s credit history are substantially related to the circumstances of a particular job or licensed activity; or 2) if employment depends on the bondability of the individual and the individual may not be bondable due to his/her credit rating.

  • The bill also provides that it is not employment discrimination because of credit history to refuse to employ or to terminate from employment any person if: 1) the circumstances of an individual’s credit history are substantially related to the circumstances of the particular job; or 2) if the individual is not bondable when bondability is required by state or federal law, administrative regulation, or established business practice of the employer.

Earlier this year the Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law SB 20 (2009 WI Act 20), which allows an aggrieved employee to sue for compensatory and punitive damages based on discrimination. Since AB 367 adds credit history as a form of employment discrimination, aggrieved employees or applicants will have the ability to sue an employer and seek compensatory and punitive damages if the bill is enacted.