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. Older applicants could be disproportionately affected as well, prompting Age Discrimination in Employment Act lawsuits.
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