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Some Employers are Discriminating Against the Unemployed

Ken Hawkins

It becomes a catch-22. You’re looking for a job because you’re out of work, but you’re not being hired because you’re out of work and have been for a long time.

NPR recently looked at a growing trend of employers who discriminate against the long-term unemployed, despite the fact that the recession has spurred a number of people who have been out of work for longer than usual. Some companies are mentioning in hiring ads that the unemployed need not apply.

One HR professional said that his employer doesn’t consider candidates who have been out of work for more than six months.

To help combat this, several states — California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Tennessee — are considering legislation that would prevent companies from discrimination against the unemployed. Fines would most likely be assessed.

But this is easier said than done. This type of discrimination could be hard to prove, save for the blatant kind found in hiring ads.

And as we know, there are many factors that go into a hiring decision.  As NPR points out, some employers want to see that applicants performed some sort of work during stretches of unemployment, even volunteering.

What’s the unemployed to do in all of this? HR professionals encourage the unemployed to remain active.

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