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Should a prospective employee's credit history determine whether he or she gets the job?

By Chris Penttila

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Screening job applicants used to be about checking resumes andreferences. Now, nervous employers are going a step further,running credit checks to weed out potential problem employees.Under current law, employers can reject applicants on the basis oftheir personal credit. But to what extent should an applicant'scredit history influence a hiring decision? Obtaining a creditreport is one thing; interpreting it is another.

Assessing credit history becomes a judgment call by those doingthe hiring, says Frederick Lane, a former attorney and the authorof The Naked Employee: How Technology Is Compromising Work-placePrivacy (Amacom). Distinguishing danger signs from everydayfinances isn't easy.

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