Report Suggests Widespread Discrimination Against the Unemployed

If you want a job, you’d better have one already. That’s the mindset of many employers, according to a recent analysis of job listings by the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit association of employment attorneys. 

During a four-week period earlier this spring, a NELP researcher combed through a sampling of online job postings on major career boards including, and Craigslist and identified more than 150 ads that included exclusions based on current employment status.

The overwhelming majority of these ads required that applicants “must be currently employed,” according to NELP. About half the ads were from staffing firms, the researcher found. NELP is a supporter of the Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011, which would specifically prohibit discrimination against the unemployed.

The legislation’s fate is uncertain, but considering the sheer number of Americans–many of them highly skilled–who are unemployed  through no fault of their own, the fact that such legislation should even need to be considered strikes me as pathetic.

There’s just no moral justification for refusing to even consider an unemployed person for a job, and for those who would say “it’s about business, not morals,” I think an ethics refresher course is in order.