|FCRA Letter to Congress|
|Written by the Political Editor|
Not familiar with the blacklist problem for travelers? You can read more about it in this full article. It involves a bill already introduced in Congress that will amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to stop its misuse for employment screening. Taking a few minutes to write or email your representative to support this amendment will help ensure this important measure passes.
This link will locate the representative for your district with contact information.
You can write a message from scratch, or copy and paste from the letter example below. If you prefer, a phone call in support of H.R. 3149 will also make a difference.
Sample language for letter:
Dear Representative Harold Smith,
I am a travel nurse working for an agency. Healthcare travelers like ourselves fill a vital niche in our nation’s healthcare system - filling seasonal needs, regional shortages, and responding to natural disasters such as Katrina. The temporary nature of these assignments means we are subject to more frequent pre-employment scrutiny. Because of this, we are particularly vulnerable to the misuse of consumer credit checks.
Some employers in the healthcare industry, both hospitals and agencies, are currently using de facto blacklists. Utilizing third party credit reporting agencies to share unverifiable employee information between employers under the FCRA shields these employers from employees seeking legal remedies in state courts.
Hawaii and Washington states have already passed laws prohibiting the use of credit reports for employment screening, and several other states are considering similar bills. However, these are local Band Aids for a national ailment. Both the misuse of credit history for employment screening as well as the expanding use of federally sanctioned blacklists can be cured at one stroke by passing this simple amendment to the FCRA. I and my colleagues ask that you support and vote for H.R. 3149. This will protect all working citizens from FCRA misuse, not just those in the healthcare industry.
Susan Jones, RN
Don't forget to change the name to your representative and your own name and address. If you are not a nurse, change your profession in the text. Your letter will make a difference!
We will keep you up to date on the bill's progress. This bill is currently in the House Finance Committee. The Chair is Barney Franks D-MA who is well known as a friend of consumers and workers. If you would like to look up the bill's home page in Congress, this is the place.