Can an employer force an at will employee to apply for credit to show “fiscal responsibility”?

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Can an employer force an at will employee to apply for credit to show “fiscal responsibility”?

My employer, a department of the state of TX, has required that we all apply for a state credit card. The argument was/is that we are required to travel, therefore we must apply for a card. There is no problem with the travel requirement, but some do not want to apply.

Asked on June 12, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an employer may require employees to do this, unfortunately. Employers have essentially complete discreition to set the term and conditions of employment; they may ask their employees or prospective employees to do pretty much anything that is not in fact illegal as part and parcel of, or a pre-requisite for, their employment--and certainly there is nothing inherently illegal about having a credit card. The employer's requirement even makes sense in that if employees have to travel or otherwise incur charges, they should have a credit card for it. So the anwer is, yes, the employer may require this; if anyone does not want to do this, their recourse is to look for a different job, unfortunately.


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