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Alison Doyle

Unemployed Need Not Apply

By October 20, 2011

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nullThe National Employment Law Project reports that employers continue to discriminate against unemployed workers. The latest postings that require applicants to be employed or recently unemployed include the following help wanted ads:

  • Restaurant Manager, St. Louis, MO: MUST BE CURRENTLY EMPLOYED
  • Medical Staff Coordinator, HCA Hospitals, Dallas, TX: Must be currently employed in a medical services profession for at least the past 12 consecutive months
  • Executive Assistant/Legal Secretary, San Francisco, CA: The candidate must...be currently employed
  • Restaurant Manager, Queens & Long Island, NY: Must be currently employed or not out of the restaurant business for more than 3 months

"Employers and firms continue to post ads that refuse to even consider the unemployed, regardless of their qualifications. It's unfair to workers and bad for the economy. We need to be putting Americans back to work, not stigmatizing and prolonging their unemployment," said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project.

Unfortunately, it's not considered discrimination - at least yet - to say that unemployed workers need not apply.  However, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced the Fair Employment Opportunity Act to prohibit employers from refusing to consider unemployed applicants.

It's challenging enough to be job searching in this economy, without your application not even getting a look because you're unemployed.  If you are unemployed and have been discriminated against, here's how to share your discrimination story.

Related: Unemployment Extension | Unemployment Stories

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October 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm
(1) David Stillwagon says:

That is amazing that some companies could get away with that especially during this terrible economy. I hope congress makes some changes.

October 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm
(2) Marshall Karp says:

I read the American Jobs Bill which includes the Fair Employment Opportunity Act a few weeks ago.

Basically, it reads to make being long term unemployed a government protected community. Employers can’t discriminate in hiring if someone is long term unemployed, either in their position advertising or by saying that is the reason they are not interview or hiring someone. Funny thing, there is no problem with the resume having dates on it, employers are allowed to look at the dates on a resume and think what they think. That is until the thought police get here, I suppose.

I think this is purely political with politicians trying to show long term unemployed people that they hear them and they care about them. Jay Leno said it best, the only time politicians care about our jobs is when they are going to lose their jobs.

The dangerous thing that I have noticed is some long term unemployed people having some sort of magical thinking that this will get them a job. I have heard some 99ers saying, oh, now I will get back to work. As workforce development professionals, you need to get their heads out of the clouds and back to reality. They need to continue their job hunts and not wait for this thing to be implemented. At this moment in time, my guess is it will not be implemented.

We all know there there are laws protecting discrimination against certain protected communities. We all know that discrimination still goes on. What could possibly be the reason to think that this Act will end all discrimination against the long term unemployed?

I think the only people who are going to make out on this is the government, with more people being hired to investigate and enforce this and the lawyers. Interestingly enough, what I read about the ADA, there are probably as many percentage of people with disabilities employed before the ADA as there are as of the last time I checked a couple a years ago.

Just my opinions.

October 24, 2011 at 10:46 am
(3) Enlightened says:

‘We all know there there are laws protecting discrimination against certain protected communities. We all know that discrimination still goes on. What could possibly be the reason to think that this Act will end all discrimination against the long term unemployed? ‘

It won’t end all discriminatory practice, just like Criminal Law doesn’t eradicate all crimes. However, the point is, it’s a positive step in the right direction of making Employers who discriminate accountable for their unfair and damaging actions. It begs belief….

It is better to have such laws than not, which appears to be the current state of play in the US.

October 24, 2011 at 11:10 am
(4) Enlightened says:

I found this article truly astounding.

We don’t have such a blatant and unruly practice going on in the UK. It just seems completely illogical to me for Employers to stipulate that someone ‘unemployed’ cannot apply for a job position! Or at best can only have been unemployed for a few months! In the UK we expect that people unemployed are going to apply for any job offered. At interviews people talk about why they left their last job, what they’ve been doing since, what qualifications and skills they have that are appropriate to the present job being offered and how they can benefit the business they are applying to. Based upon that criteria, an Employer will consider the application.

Imagine the stigma created and the psychological trauma and effect that must have on someone who is unemployed?

There are a 1001 reasons why anyone would be unemployed and for a long duration (aside from this stigmatising practice) eg travel, children, illness, being a full-time carer, self-development studies, the job market, etc. Does that mean that you have no skills or qualifications or can never be a productive and valuable person in the work place environment? Of course not.

Our Employment Laws in England over the last few years have gone through a complete overhaul. One of the laws that they brought in, amongst others, was age discrimination.

October 25, 2011 at 6:04 am
(5) Researcher says:

Unfortunately, despite all the legislation, discrimination is still alive and kicking in the UK. It’s just disguised – sometimes not very well – as something else.

Also job specifications are now appearing that ask for a complete work history of a certain length – effectively implying that unless you can show you have been in work/training for the required one year/two years/ five years, you will not be considered for the post. This is very similar to the advertisement in the article and it is not fair. It puts off potential applicants from applying -even if they have very good reasons for not having a complete work history.

These are signs that it is an employer’s market at the moment, they can pick and choose who they hire and they are snowed under with applications. These qualifying comments are an attempt to reduce the number of applications they have to deal with, but they reveal an attitude of blanket assumption that anyone who has a gap in their work history, for whatever reason, is unworthy of their attention – even briefly.

Unfortunately, I can’t see a way that this situation will improve unless and until the whole job situation improves.

October 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm
(6) Gloria Neiswender says:

Stamford CT Oct, 24- 2011

This is every interesting, and I have being unemployed for about three years .

I notice they are not hiring unemployed people.

It is very sad,to know we label for everything,

What a world we are in,!!

Gloria Neiswender

October 26, 2011 at 1:33 pm
(7) Jennifer Law says:

I totally agreed with Mrs. Gloria Neiswender about her situation with the unemployment. I too have been unemployed for about five years now since I started to go back to community college in Plano, Texas. During 2008, I got my college certificate in office assistant at Collin County Community College District but I still can’t find a job at all. At this point, I’m really angry about the employer who aren’t given a chance for us to be hired.

It’s really frustrated that many peoples who are trying to find a job even though many companies have been sent out all of the job imports to oversea foreign countries such as China, Vietnam, India, Korea, and Honduras. I will not vote for the Obama in a next election if He made any kind of changes about the rule of being discriminated against the unemployed people.

November 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm
(8) Bonvivant says:

Now there´s a practice will give a boost to Socialism.

January 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm
(9) Gloria Neiswender says:

It is crucial to have thosands of people unemployed, We are not contributing, and how the Nation will survive.?

I am trying hard to hold my spirit up.

Hoping for the best,

I have the same feeling about voting next election.
Not to vote at all. for no one.

Thank You

Gloria Neiswender

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