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Small but Mighty: Rhode Island’s Credit Check Laws

Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but some of its state laws align with some of the nation’s biggest. States like California restrict the use of certain credit information for employment purposes. Some large cities have their own restrictions, like New York City. And as small as it is, the Ocean State has its own laws in place, too. If you do business there, you may have restrictions on using certain “credit report” information when hiring.

How Rhode Island Defines Credit Report

What makes a credit report a credit report varies from state-to-state. Rhode Island defines a “credit report” as any information from a credit bureau about a consumer’s creditworthiness, standing, or capacity used as a factor to determine eligibility for:

  • Credit or insurance purposes;
  • Employment purposes; or
  • Other purposes authorized under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Rhode Island’s Disclosure Requirements

So, does Rhode Island have specific employer disclosure requirements regarding applicants who live or work in Rhode Island, before a credit report may be obtained regarding them, as well? If you guessed yes, you got it.

According to state law, anyone who requests a credit report, as defined by Rhode Island law, related to an application for employment must first inform the applicant that such credit report may be requested.

Rhode Island’s requirements go further by addressing adverse action related to such credit reports. If an employer takes adverse action against an applicant based on information in the credit report, it must advise the individual it’s taking adverse action against of this and provide them with the credit bureau’s name and address.

Verified Credentials provides clients with state-specific sample disclosure documents in their Resource Library. The library includes a sample Rhode Island Credit Report Disclosure.  If you’d like to see a sample to reference as you create your own document, log into your Resource Library.

As always, you should discuss your state-specific disclosures with trusted legal counsel to make sure you stay in compliance with applicable laws.

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