Employers Rejecting the Unemployed

Unemployed Man

Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, promotes jobs for lower-wage workers. She, along with worker advocates, claims that employers are screening out job applicants who are unemployed.

Owens said a telephone company in Atlanta, which she didn’t identify, ran an help-wanted ad saying only the employed should apply. Jobless applicants were also turned down by a temporary staffing firm and a Texas recruiter because they were unemployed, she said.

“What’s startling are the lengths to which companies are going to communicate this such as including the phrase ‘unemployed candidates will not be considered’ right in the posting,” she said.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is investigating similar claims after media reports revealed that some employers are keeping applicants without jobs from being considered. The practice has also raised concerns about discrimination. Still, many others feel that the practice just doesn’t exist.

The Society for Human Resource Management, which represents more than 250,000 personnel managers, is “unaware of widespread recruiting practices” that exclude the jobless, said Fernan R. Cepero, representing the Alexandria, Virginia-based group.

Applicants who have been out of work may struggle because their skills are more obsolete than those who are employed, said Cepero, vice president for human resources at the YMCA of Greater Rochester in New York.

If you feel you have been discriminated against by an employer, contact the EEOC at 1.800.669.4000 or email info@eeoc.gov.

  

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