Employers view employment history and experience as key factors in determining whether or not to hire someone, but now ten states are considering legislation making it illegal to reject a potential employee on the basis of being unemployed.
The proposals from Connecticut to California range in scope from banning advertisements that require current employment to allowing unsuccessful job candidates to sue businesses under the same discrimination laws that apply to bias on the basis of religion, race, gender or national origin.
Hiring is a discriminatory practice by its nature. Employers have to filter through resumes, interviews, test results, and more to figure out whether or not to hire. One piece of information is the prospective employee’s job history – or lack thereof. If someone changes jobs every year or two, that will likely filter them out of better jobs as employers don’t want to have to constantly re-train someone in that position. If the prospect has a gaping hole in their employment history such as not having worked for the past 99 weeks, it could point to a lack of drive and it will likely mean that the prospect’s skills may have deteriorated or gone out-of-date in more technical fields – wither of which makes a candidate less-desirable.
New Jersey already has a law like this in place and is being sued by the only company they’ve fined so far. There are ten states overall considering this kind of legislation including Colorado, California and Connecticut.
Protecting a class of people simply because they are not working is illogical and could force companies to hire less-productive employees. In all likelihood companies will just look harder at resumes or interview out people that they see as an employment risk due to poor work history.
 – Wall Street Journal: “Measures Aim to end Bias Against Long-Term Jobless“: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204778604577241693309654990.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsFifth