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- Human Resources (HR)
New Illegal Hiring Policies Against Jobless Applicants
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.