Momentum to End Discrimination Against Unemployed Jobseekers Builds, but Discriminatory Ads Continue

avatar_2563Mitchell Hirsch catches a whole bunch of discriminatory job listings showing up at

The latest examples appear two months after the National Employment Law Project (NELP) released a report detailing similarly exclusionary job postings this spring.  Since then, federal legislation has been introduced that would ban hiring practices, including job ads, that discriminate against unemployed workers by excluding them from consideration for employment opportunities.  As these harmful practices have attracted growing attention, one leading job site — — recently announced it would no longer post such exclusionary ads.


That’s even as the movement to ban such discrimination gains steam. Wednesday, Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Hank Johnson and Senator Richard Blumenthal, sponsors of House and Senate bills prohibiting discrimination against unemployed jobseekers, held a press conference on the issue, at which:

Congress today received a petition with 250,000 names in support of ending discrimination against the unemployed, said David Elliot, a spokesman with the Washington-based USAction, a federation of 22 state affiliates that advocates for human- service programs and support for public education.


Already, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) took to the House floor to speak out against the idea as just creating another “protected class.”

Johnson said much of Republican objection is politically motivated.

“[Some Republicans] don’t want to see the president be successful.” He added the American people “are looking past the cynicism and they’re looking at their pocket books. … They want some action.”

There’s no question about the political motivations of Republicans—the question is if they’ll be willing to go to the mat against a bill simply saying that employers can’t flatly rule out hiring unemployed people, a type of discrimination a poll has shown people want banned by a two-to-one margin.

This post originally appeared at Daily Kos Labor on September 21, 2011. Reprinted with permission.

Disclaimer: The views of this post reflect those of the author and not of Workplace Fairness.

About the Author: Laura Clawson is labor editor at Daily Kos. She has a PhD in sociology from Princeton University and has taught at Dartmouth College. From 2008 to 2011, she was senior writer at Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.