Avoid bias against newest ‘protected class’–the unemployed — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Avoid bias against newest ‘protected class’–the unemployed

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,Human Resources

As the economy continues its slow and anemic recovery, more and more people who have been un­­­em­­ployed are seeking to re-enter the workforce. Some unsuccessful applicants have begun suspecting they weren’t hired simply because they weren’t currently employed. Law­­makers in many states harbor the same suspicion.

THE LAW: Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have laws protecting the unemployed from discrimination.

The EEOC has investigated bias against the unemployed and warns employers they could face disparate-impact discrimination lawsuits if screening out the unemployed hurts women and minorities more than other groups.

Although the EEOC did not specifically mention it, the process could disparately impact the disabled in violation of the ADA and those who have used FMLA leave. Older applicants could be disproportionately affected as well, prompting Age Discrimination in Employment Act lawsuits.

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