Sunday, September 11, 2011

Obama's American Jobs Act to Prohibit Discrimination Against the Unemployed

Earlier this year, Congressman Hank Johnson introduced legislation that would make it illegal to refuse to hire someone because of his or her unemployment status. It was referred to committee, but there hasn't been much action lately. Enter President Obama.

Last week, he made a televised speech to Congress touting his "American Jobs Act" plan to put Americans back to work. The White House issued an American Jobs Act Fact Sheet. Among the tax cuts, building projects, and tax credits, President Obama included the following:
Prohibiting Employers from Discriminating Against Unemployed Workers: The President’s plan calls for legislation that would make it unlawful to refuse to hire applicants solely because they are unemployed or to include in a job posting a provision that unemployed persons will not be considered.
Whether Congress will pass the President's jobs act, and whether the final version will include a prohibition on unemployment status discrimination, has yet to be seen. I'll definitely keep an eye on it.

Sidenote: There's a lot of stuff about Unemployment Compensation/Unemployment Insurance reform in the President's plan too...

Posted by Philip Miles, an attorney with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania in the firm's civil litigation and labor and employment law practice groups.