representative rosa delauro | Smart Unemployment

New Bill Fights Unemployment Discrimination

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

What’s Next?

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.



Your Experience?

Have you encountered discrimination as a result of being unemployed? Please feel free to share your experience below.