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New NYC statute will ban most employers from running credit checks on job applicants

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Legislation that awaits New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature would prohibit employers from checking the credit history of most job applicants, a practice that supporters say discriminates against minorities and the poor.

The bill, passed overwhelmingly on Thursday by the City Council, is considered one of the strongest bills of its kind already on the books around the country.

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“There is no demonstrated correlation between people’s credit history and their likelihood to commit fraud or theft, or with their job performance,” said Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander, the main sponsor. “It simply adds up to discrimination.”

A spokeswoman for the mayor expressed general support for the bill’s goals.

“Credit discrimination is often times an unnecessary obstacle to New Yorkers getting jobs, and we will continue to work with the City Council to help put more New Yorkers on pathways to jobs,” said Ishanee Parikh, who declined to say whether the mayor would sign the bill.

In a 2012 survey, the Society for Human Resource Management found 47 percent of employers conducted credit background checks on job candidates. The survey had a margin of error of 4 percentage points, plus or minus.

Ramon Lebron, 24, a student from Manhattan, welcomed the legislation, saying his credit history cost him a second interview for an IT position at a financial institution three years ago.

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“They outright told me at the first interview it was going to be part of the process,” he said. “It’s an injustice.”

Ten states from Nevada to Vermont, as well as the city of Chicago, have laws limiting an employer’s ability to run credit checks on candidates.

Some allow checks for positions that come with a company credit card or for employees of financial institutions, but New York City’s bill makes no such exceptions, Lander’s office said.

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The legislation would allow checks when mandated by federal or state law, and for certain jobs such as in law enforcement or non-clerical roles that give an employee access to trade secrets.

The business community expressed skepticism after the legislation was introduced last year for a second time. It argued it was too sweeping and fought for more exemptions.

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Eventually, the Partnership for New York City, an umbrella group representing more than 200 large companies, dropped its opposition.

“The final legislation allows employers some discretion in use of credit checks,” Kathryn Wylde, its president and chief executive, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Sebastien Malo; Editing by Frank McGurty and Mohammad Zargham)

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2020 Election

‘Nice deflection, Mr President’: Adam Schiff busts Trump for trying to blame him for his leaky administration

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) took a shot at President Donald Trump on Sunday morning after the president tried to blame him for the leak describing a classified meeting lawmakers had with an intelligence official who warned the bipartisan group that the Kremlin is trying to help the president get re-elected.

As the president prepared to leave the White House for India, he told reporters that Schiff was to blame for the leaked meeting story, with the president insisting he personally had not been briefed on the report explosive report.

Responding to a 'Meet the Press" clip of the president making his accusation, Schiff tweeted back: "Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again."

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George Conway taunts Republican voters for sticking by ‘psycho buffoon’ Trump

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Conservative attorney George Conway launched a mini-tweet storm on Sunday morning just as President Donald Trump was leaving the country for a visit to India, telling Republican voters that they didn't have to settle for him being their candidate in 2016.

Along the way, he described the president as "a psycho and a buffoon."

In the series of tweets, Conway -- the husband of Trump White House adviser Kellyanne Conway -- noted that a more mainstream candidate could have won in 2016, writing, "Some perspective for supporters of @realDonaldTrump: A stable and competent GOP candidate would have won the popular vote in 2016, perhaps even by a few percentage points; a stable and competent GOP president, having inherited such a strong economy and goosed it with massive deficit spending, would have approval ratings of at least 55%."

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Why Americans are afraid to have babies

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Many Democrats are completely fixated on getting Donald Trump out of the Oval Office, no matter what it takes (or which Democratic presidential candidate). While that's certainly an important and obvious goal, the political stakes in 2020 are far, far greater than that.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Yes, there are compounding, existential and political crises that go beyond corrupt Beltway intrigue so much of the media fixates on.

Capitalism is in crisis. It is manifested in the deterioration in local conditions, a decline in the birthrate as well as in entrepreneurship.

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