The American Jobs Act — Details (Part 1)
Following his speech on the American Jobs Act earlier this month, President Obama has been visiting cities across the country in order to gain support for the proposed stimulus plan.
While you are likely already aware of the highlights of the plan, there are additional provisions that have not received much attention. These provisions are important to all Americans who are currently looking for work.
Prohibits Discrimination Against Unemployed Workers
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Thousands of out of work Americans have encountered job postings that only accept applications from workers who are “currently employed”.
One of the little talked about aspects of the American Jobs Acts is a provision that would prohibit this type of discrimination based on your employment status.
As proposed, the American Jobs Act would incorporate The Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011, which would prevent companies and employment agencies from discriminating against applicants on the basis of employment status.
While interest rates on mortgages have fallen to approximately 4%, millions of Americans are unable to refinance their mortgages at these low rates. Banks and lenders have become much more strict as a result of the financial crisis, making it challenging to refinance an existing mortgage.
The American Jobs Act includes language that would help facilitate mortgage refinancing. The government estimates that a typical American family would be able to save approximately $2,000 per year on mortgage costs if they were able to refinance at the current rates.
New Bill Seeks To Prevent Discrimination Against Unemployed Americans
Earlier this month, Representatives Rosa DeLauro (Connecticut) and Henry Johnson, Jr. (Georgia) introduced the Fair Emplyoment Opportunity Act of 2011. The aim of this legislation is simple: To prevent employers from discriminating against unemployed Americans.
Unemployed Need Not Apply?
Companies looking to hire are increasingly including language in their “Help Wanted” postings that prevents applicants who are out of work from applying for a job opening. You may have encountered the following language:
“Applicant must be currently employed.”
The Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011, also referred to as HR 2501, would prevent employers from such discrimination. The bill would also apply to employment agencies, who would not be allowed to ask about the current employment status of job applicants.
“In a tough job market, where workers are competing against tens and sometimes hundreds of others for every available job opening, it is unjust for employers to discriminate against those who are unemployed. We have seen ample evidence that unemployed individuals are increasingly falling prey to discriminatory practices reducing their opportunities to be considered for a job. The Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011 would prohibit employers and employment agencies from discriminating against unemployed job-seekers, and ensure that all Americans have the same opportunities for employment.” — Representative Rosa DeLauro
The bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on July 12th, and there are currently 30 co-sponsors of this new legislation.
We will keep you updated as progress is made on this bill, as well as Tier 5, and other unemployment-related items being discussed in Congress.
Have you encountered discrimination as a result of being unemployed? Please feel free to share your experience below.