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New Illegal Hiring Policies Against Jobless Applicants

Updated on January 11, 2012

With the national unemployment hovering around 8.5 million (those who are counted but not those who have exhausted unemployment benefits), many employers have placed yet another hurdle to those down and out: be currently employed or recently employed. Many ads have the one liner about "must be currently employed", which begs the question, if the applicant is working why are they applying for another job? What has current employment got to do with even applying for a job? Does the employer think a more well qualified candidate will appear? Also, how recent must one's employment be to apply for a job and why?

HR people state it is just another weeding out process to held sift through the deluge of resumes or applicants some job posts create. Geez, how many well qualified people are not even considered because of their bad luck and job market?

Finally, in California, there is AB 1450, a bill moving through the governmental approval stages to make such hiring policies illegal. If passed, violating employers would be fined if they refuse to consider people with no recent or current work record. There is also a similar Federal law being pushed through Congress, and New Jersey already has such a law. The bill focuses on the employment screening process only and not who actually gets the job.

The problems of enforcing are significant. Barring out right wording in ads is one thing but let's get real, how is one going to know whether their unemployment status had anything to do with them not getting the job. Just like age discrimination of older workers, no employer in their right mind will admit in not hiring a 60 yr old, fully qualified, because of a nice looking 25 yr man or woman with similar or less equal skills because they "fit" the culture better. Code words for you are too old. Since much of the hiring decisions are verbal and not written, unless someone internal blows the whistle, the law will only look good on paper and give false hope to the 8.5+ unemployed persons.


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    • Charles James profile image

      Charles James 6 years ago from Yorkshire, UK

      People who are in work have to weigh up the new employer's offer against their existing job and conditions. Sometimes they use the new job offer to negotiate a better deal at work.

      People who are not in work are in a weaker bargaining position. And they can start immediately, without working their notice at the previous employer.

      So you would think employers are crazy to have such a policy of only employing people who are currently in work. However, people in work have not been fired, are not off sick and therefore are not a sickness problem, and bring with them their current contacts.

      Taking people who are currently out of work risks taking people who have been fired for incompetence, poor performance, time keeping, or excessive sickness.

      I think it an unwise policy, but I understand it. My parents' generation always used to say "Its easier to get a job if you are in a job".

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      So true.

    • Dawn Conklin profile image

      Dawn Conklin 6 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      In all reality, companies don't have to give you a full reason why they didn't hire you. They can say they have other people to interview, they can say various things. I agree, this is a hard law to enforce.