Bill Would Ban New York Unemployment Discrimination

May 24, 2011

New York legislators recently introduced legislation that would make it illegal for companies to disqualify job seekers who are unemployed, Reuters reports.

This is welcome news for the more than 766,000 unemployed New Yorkers looking to find a job. Companies are always seeking the most qualified candidates to fill the sparse job openings that are out there.
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The bill, if it becomes law, would make the unemployed a protected class under New York law, giving them the protection that other people, such as the disabled and other minorities, already have against discrimination. It would also ban employers from posting job advertisements that discourage unemployed job seekers from applying.

New Jersey was the first state to ban a form of unemployment discrimination, Reuters says, with a bill that makes it illegal for companies to post jobs that make employment a condition of either applying for or being hired for the position. It goes into effect June 1.
Some believe that unemployment discrimination may be portrayed in other forms of discrimination that affect older Americans and minorities, who are overrepresented among the jobless.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, nearly 100,000 charges of employment discrimination were filed nationwide in 2010. And while New York added nearly 44,000 private jobs in April, the unemployment rate is still a high 7.9 percent, which leaves 766,700 without work, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

While employers are always looking to find the best and most qualified candidates, they shouldn't use unemployment as a consideration. The Great Recession caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs and for many it wasn't their fault. Financial constraints and times of cost-cutting made it necessary to eliminate positions, products and even whole offices of workers.

Discrimination in New York City is uncalled for, regardless of the circumstance. Many jobless are discriminated based on their age, race, gender, sexual orientation and many other factors just like employees in the workplace.

It is illegal and shouldn't be tolerated. If you feel you have been harassed or discriminated against based on those factors or others found on our website, contact us today. Long Island discrimination lawyers will help protect your rights, fight for what's right and stand by your side.

The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman represents businesses in New York City, Long Island, Great Neck and throughout the area. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.