A new study has found that unemployed job seekers are facing discrimination based on their current employment status, or lack there of. The National Employment Law Project has discovered that a number of job posting websites, including CareerBuilder.com and Indeed.com, have numerous listings stating that job seekers must currently be employed.
Representatives Rosa DeLauro from Connecticut and Hank Johnson from Georgia have introduced a bill entitled the Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011. This act strives to make it illegal to discriminate against jobless applicants. Theses representatives have described the situation as a catch-22; a practice that requires workers to have jobs in order to get jobs. They argue that many of these unemployed applicants have lost jobs due to no fault of their own, and are now banned from even applying to jobs for which they may be well qualified.
Of all unemployed people, 6.3 million, (44%,) have been unemployed for six months or longer. The average period of unemployment is slowly increasing, now averaging nearly 40 weeks, (over 9 months.)
A recent poll has shown that the American public is opposed to the practice of unemployment discrimination. 80% of respondents described the practice as, “very unfair” and another 10% described the practice as just, “unfair”.
Proponents of the bill hope that it will level the playing field for workers and create equal work opportunities for all job seekers.