August 19, 2019

Business Brief

Lawmakers Look At Bias Against The Unemployed
March 2, 2011 by Bob Hill

A highly discouraging trend reveals a lot of employers have little or no interest on easing the burden for unemployed workers. And some legislators aren’t happy about it.

While there are no specific statistics or studies that have tracked the percentage of current employers who refuse to hire unemployed applicants, recent articles by The Huffington Post, as well as several other local and national papers, explore this dynamic.

In some cases, employers are afraid to hire someone for a high-level position whose skills may have grown dull or rusty over the past few years – years during which the marketplace has changed dramatically, as have the way customers do business and the modes companies use to communicate, manufacture and produce.

According to the Dept. of Labor, there are 5.5 unemployed workers available for every available job (on average). In that type of job market, employers are going out of their way to disqualify candidates they no have very little chance of getting hired.

Rather than have their recruiting people get inundated with hundreds of applications, or waste time interviewing candidates who should’ve never gotten through the door, HR execs have become much more proactive.

One recent article cites an employer in Buckhead, GA, whose job posting bluntly reads: “NO UNEMPLOYED CANDIDATES WILL BE CONSIDERED AT ALL.”

Another employer in Georgia posted an ad for a hands-on, manual labor position that read: “If you have not worked since 2009, do not apply!”
Restaurants, accounting firms, and financial service firms are all posting the same type of ads.

Apparently, “Unemployed” is the new “Prior Experience required.”

While there’s currently no law on the books that forbids companies from disqualifying applicants based on employment status, the current job market is forcing legislators to review labor laws and consider whether tighter regs might be necessary.

Employers, on the other hand, claim they’re just doing their best not to waste their time or the applicants’. Certain positions require top-of-the-line applicants who are on top of their game, according to their argument. If a company knows what it’s looking for, why should it waste valuable time and resources looking elsewhere?

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