Unemployment Discrimination: Who's Afraid To Hire The Jobless? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Unemployment Discrimination: Who's Afraid To Hire The Jobless?

WASHINGTON - Job advertisements that require applicants to be "currently employed" are easy to find online. Yet attempts to trace the origins of such discriminatory job ads yield plenty of "It wasn't me" responses from the companies involved.

Many of the businesses insist they don't want to screen out the unemployed and blame the discriminatory language on the middlemen directly responsible for placing the ads.

Discrimination against people who are out of work is a phenomenon that's been in the news since last year, and lately it has been getting a lot more attention. Democrats in both chambers of Congress now want to make it a federal crime.

A recent report by the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group, called out 73 businesses for asking in job postings that applicants be currently employed. "This perverse catch-22 is deepening our unemployment crisis by arbitrarily foreclosing job opportunities to many who are otherwise qualified for them," NELP said in the report.

The Huffington Post reached out to half the organizations cited in the report, and nineteen responded. While several staffing firms defended the ads, employers disavowed them, saying they'd been written by a person outside the company and that they were completely unaware of the language used.

For instance, a spokesperson for AIELLO Home Services, an HVAC company based in central Connecticut, said his company would never run a job ad that specified applicants should already have jobs.

"If you like to make money and have a flexible schedule, then a challenging and exciting opportunity awaits you," an online job ad for the company said. "And if you are currently employed, believe enough in yourself and your abilities to make a positive career move...you and your family will be glad you did." (The ad also specified: "NO prior industry experience required!") >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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