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Is "Must Be Currently Employed" Discriminatory in Employment Ads?

Updated on October 11, 2011

The answer depends on which side of the fence you are on. If you are one of the 10 million unemployed , you will say yes, and rightly so. Because of the masses of people not working, if you are working, it is hard to have empathy because it is not your problem. But to many, being qualified for a job and face the: Must be employed, recently employed condition, it is another blow to your hope. The other blows are: credit checks, internet social media checks, criminal checks, former employers etc. If you are the 99s (out of work for 99 weeks) the despair is real. Even if you are only a few months unemployed, the impact is the same.

It is legal so far. There is no law against requiring someone to be recently employed or currently employed. Businesses do it to weed out the hundreds of resumes and applications for a handful of jobs paying maybe $10 hr. People with college degrees or masters, people that are highly skilled in some way.

On July 12, Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Henry Johnson, Jr. (D-Ga.) introduced the Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011. The legislation, if enacted, would prohibit employers and employment agencies from refusing to consider job applicants solely because they are unemployed.

Currently, only New Jersey makes it a civil crime to discriminate against unemployed persons with requiring applicants being currently employed.

I think there should be such a law. It is hard enough to get a job without this sort of discrimination.


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    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @linda-I agree

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Being unemployed is a negative badge in today's world?

      Oh really what are some of you people smoking. People are being let go right and left and for an employer to raise a question what is wrong, well they are so out of touch. This really burns me up, just how insensitive and ignorant can you be. I know of people who are out of work for 2 years and you think it's their fault? Of course there is a gap because they are hiring the already employed.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Unemployed is like a negative badge and raises the ? about the person. The theory is, the longer it goes on, then to an employer, something is wrong with the person.

    • FGual profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Hello Perrya. I agree it should be illegal, but how to police that? We are bombarded with high unemployment news, and the damage it is doing. Most unemployed were downsized as opposed to fired. Will they all be cast aside because of long unemployment?

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Amen, Perrya. It is too hard already to get a job and this is unfair and discriminatory.

    • OutsideTheLines profile image


      7 years ago from Tulsa, OK

      This seems kind of backwards to me...must be employed to get a job? That's like saying you have to already attend school to go to kindergarten...

    • DonDWest profile image


      7 years ago from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I wrote a Hub a while back on this topic matter, titled "New Trends of Discrimination in Hiring." I went on to say that discriminating against the unemployed is perhaps one of our biggest problems. The impression seemingly going around is that if you're unemployed, "something must be wrong with you." It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. . .

      At first employers did this subtlety; however now it seems employers are being brutally honest about it. Although I'm now employed, I remember sending out 600+ resumes (when I was unemployed) mostly trying to get through the reservations that I wasn't currently employed. In all the 24 interviews I had, the question, "are you currently employed?" popped up. Each time I responded “no,” I was met with a facial grimace, except the one interview when I was actually employed. By the way, I was told I got that job no more than two days later. McDonald’s doesn’t even hire that fast. . .

      They simply love to hire people who are already employed full-time; it’s slowly but surely creating a 25% perma-unemployed underclass across both Canada and the United States.

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image


      7 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Hi perrya...being one of the 10 million...I would be pleased to sign your petition (if you have one) If not...I will just vote Up and interesting.


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