The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is currently investigating whether employers and recruiters are discriminating against unemployed job applicants and, if so, whether it is an illegal practice. According to The Wall Street Journal, the EEOC has been receiving reports of job ads that say that currently unemployed people need not apply as they will not be considered.
The EEOC will look into whether this is a widespread practice and whether the EEOC would have the authority to stop the practice. According to the WSJ, attorneys representing employers have said that they do not believe it is a widespread practice and may have more to do with finding the candidates with the most up-to-date experience.
The Labor Department, however, is concerned that bias against the unemployed could disproportionately hurt African-Americans or Latinos because those groups are unemployed at a higher rate than the rest of the nation.
According to the WSJ, the unemployment rate for blacks was nearly twice the unemployment rate for whites in January — 15.7 percent to 8 percent. Hispanics were unemployed in January at a rate of 11.9 percent. The overall unemployment rate in the U.S. was 9 percent in January.
People protected from age discrimination, or people 40 and older, are more likely to be unemployed for longer periods of time. According to the WSJ, of those unemployed for a short or medium amount of time, one in three is 40 and older. People 40 and older make up 52.2 percent of the long-term unemployed.
Bias Against the Unemployed Is Subject of Probe (The Wall Street Journal)