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Legislation Would Bar Hiring Discrimination Against Unemployed Applicants


Chicago attorney Peter Gillespie was quoted in the August 23 SHRM Online article "Legislation Would Bar Hiring Discrimination Against Unemployed Applicants." The article notes a two versions of a bill introduced to congress that would make it illegal for an employer to refuse to consider for employment or refuse to offer employment to an individual because of the individual's status as unemployed. The Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011 would also prohibit any advertisement or announcement for any job that includes any provision stating or indicating that an individual's status as unemployed disqualifies the individual for a job. Even if no federal law barring discrimination against the unemployed passes, employers should proceed cautiously. Peter said: "It may be difficult to think of a reason why the practice has any particular basis other than an effort to winnow down the number of applications that someone in HR has to sort through. Employers should keep in mind, that, if they are going to use this kind of advertising, they need to have a specific reason based in the qualifications for the position itself."

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