For employers, it is crucial to remain aware of unemployment discrimination. Failing to consider a potential employee only because he or she has gone a long time without a job is considered discrimination and is unlawful. An unemployment attorney can provide insight as to which federal and state laws apply to actions that might be considered discriminatory.
What the Law Protects
While there is no current federal law that prohibits discrimination against those with no work history, an applicant can still file a claim at the time of their interview or application if they feel as if they are being treated unjustly due to their employment history. Applicants may also retain an unemployment attorney to assist them, which can be detrimental to a business owner or employer.
A disparate impact charge is when the employer uses the lack of employment for a block of time as the only reason for not giving an applicant a fair chance in a position. This can be seen as a blanket policy used to screen out applicants who are not currently working. If the unemployment attorney can prove that a company is using a disparate impact charge, this can be cause for legal action.
States That Prohibit Unemployment Discrimination
There are only two states that currently prohibit this practice: Oregon and New Jersey. These states have passed laws making it illegal not to hire someone who is unemployed if they are otherwise qualified for the position. Because of the laws in these two states, employers may not post any job advertisements that prevent hiring anyone who is not currently working. Each state has its own policies, so it can be helpful to find out which ones will take steps against a company if a complaint is filed.
As an employer, having a good awareness of federal employee laws and rights is imperative. Without this, the company can be at risk of facing legal trouble. While some people make claims of unemployment discrimination with no success, a good unemployment attorney can often be successful in winning a case for his or her client. Knowing about the laws in the state in which business is conducted can prevent any future lawsuits for the employer. A good screening practice to consider is not to use work history as the sole reason for choosing applicants. Be also sure to consider other parts of the application such as educational history or special skills.