Potential Employer: “I Think We Can Use Your Skills. Oh, You’re Unemployed? Get Lost.”
If you’re out of work, you’re catching it from all sides. Rightwing state legislators are reducing your unemployment benefits because you’re just a worthless parasite. And a lot of employers won’t hire you because you’re unemployed.
How’s that for circular reasoning? Sure, everyone knows you have a better chance of getting that new job if you’re already employed. But for millions of job seekers to be automatically rejected just because they’re not currently employed — WTF?
There’s some sentiment for expanding anti-discrimination laws to include the unemployed, but I don’t know whether the government can or should get involved in this. And how would they enforce it?
Unfortunately it’s not illegal to be a douchebag.
Congressman Hank Johnson (D—Georgia) has introduced the Fair Employment Act of 2011, which would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit employers from discriminating against unemployed job applicants.
New Jersey already has a law saying that posted job listings cannot state that the applicant has to be currently employed.
There’s some legal reasoning that race is a strong factor in discriminating against the unemployed, since minorities make up a large percentage of the jobless.
In any case, any new laws protecting the unemployed against discrimination would probably be overturned in the courts. Corporations are people, after all, and this intrusive new law would hurt their feelings.