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Unemployment discrimination a growing problem, Part II

In our prior post we touched on the issue of employment discrimination and how some employers in the current economy are discriminating against the unemployed, especially those who have been out of work for a matter of months.

“What they don’t consider is that these are not normal times,” said an applicant about employers who automatically turn away candidates who have been out of work for a number of months. What that applicant means is that a large percentage of the unemployed population lost their jobs through absolutely no fault of their own.

In many resume and interview courses, instructors say that you should be able to explain away any gaps between jobs. This is because an employer may see large gaps as instability or an indication of a character trait. However, these days, even many overqualified, hardworking, stellar employees lost their jobs simply because of the economy.

Some state lawmakers have proposed legislation that would make unemployment discrimination illegal and not just unjust or unreasonable. One New Jersey lawmaker co-sponsored a federal law that prevented ads that made current employment a requirement. That lawmaker suggested that those who are unemployed keep thorough records of any job-seeking activity until the law can catch up with the changing times.

Unemployment discrimination is not the only kind of discrimination. Discrimination due to race, sex, religion and even gender identity are considered illegal under most state laws. If you feel as though you have been discriminated against by an employer, it is your right to seek legal the advice of an experienced employment attorney.

Source: USA Today, “For long-unemployed, hiring bias rears its head,” Stephen Singer, March 27, 2012

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