The unemployed: a new protected category?

The District of Columbia just enacted the first law prohibiting discrimination based on being unemployed.  Beginning this month, D.C. employers cannot consider an applicant’s unemployed status in making hiring decisions.  The EEOC held hearings last year addressing this issue; i.e., how to protect the growing number of unemployed individuals from experiencing discrimination.  If you have operations in D.C., make sure your applications do not say anything to the effect that the unemployed need not apply.  So too in New Jersey and Oregon, who have prohibited such advertisements.  Will this new category garner more attention?  Stay tuned.

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