Payroll News: Are Employers Discriminating Against the Unemployed?

Payroll News: Employers Discriminating Against the Unemployed?

unemployment and payrollWould you add an employee to your payroll if they’re currently unemployed?

There’s a growing backlash against employers who advertise that unemployed applicants “Need not Apply.” The practice may even become illegal if lawmakers have anything to do with it, according to an article by Top Echelon Contracting. Consider the following developments:

  • New Jersey just passed a law saying that job ads can’t discriminate against unemployed applicants.
  • At the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a hearing on the prevalence of banning unemployed job applicants and whether the practice actually discriminates. The EEOC is asking whether the practice creates a “disparate impact” against certain protected classes with a higher unemployment rate, disproportionately affecting groups such as African-Americans, Hispanics, and disabled individuals.
  • Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) introduced The Fair Employment Act of 2011 to amend the Civil Rights Act, “making it illegal for companies to make hiring decisions based on a candidate’s employment status,” according to the article.

What’s the takeaway? If you want to add employees to your payroll program, be careful what you advertise, or you may wind up in hot water. And consider that the biggest recession since the Great Depression has yielded a rich field of job candidates — many of whom are ready to work hard, regardless of their current job status.

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