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Companies Discriminating Against Unemployed Workers

As if it wasn't hard enough to find a job in this economy, The Huffington Post is reporting that some companies are ignoring all applications by currently unemployed candidates. The HuffPost found several job opening advertisements across the Web that all came with the notice that the unemployed needn't bother to apply. One posting, on The People Place, a recruiting Web site, posted a job for an engineer with a notice on the bottom that reads, "Client will not consider/review anyone NOT currently employed regardless of the reason."

Another company posted a similar notice, but took it down once it was brought to their attention, telling the HuffPost that it had been an oversight. The sad fact is that even if a job ad does not bluntly state the fact that a company is only considering currently employed applicants, it does not mean it isn't still screening out the unemployed. While discrimination against the unemployed is not currently illegal, companies could be breaking the law if those practices disparately impact minorities.

The latest Labor Department figures say that there are about 5.5 people looking for work for every open job out there. Judi Conti, a federal advocacy coordinator for the National Employment Law Project, spoke out strongly against any practice that would discriminate against unemployed job applicants. She called such a practice by employers "short-sighted" and "unconscionable" and said that any company acting this way was not a good corporate citizen of their community.

Congressmen John Dingell of Michigan seconded Conti's view, saying that it is "short-sighted" to automatically ignore unemployed applicants, because many, many highly qualified workers are currently out of work through no fault of their own.