New bill would ban job bias based on unemployment status

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in Discrimination and Harassment

New Jersey this year became the first state to pass a law that forbids employers from requiring job applicants to be currently employed. Now the issue is going national.

The EEOC held a hearing on the topic in February. Now legislation introduced in Congress—the Fair Employment Act of 2011 (H.R. 1113)—would amend Title VII to add “unemployed status” to the list of categories protected from job discrimination (such as race, age and sex).

Outlook: Prospects for such a federal “unemployment discrimination” law are dim. But the media has picked up the scent on this story, so you’ll prevent a PR nightmare by staying away from such a do-not-apply-if-unemployed policy.

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