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Study: Employers discriminating against unemployed in help-wanted ads

With the poor economy still flailing, many people in Michigan and elsewhere are unemployed. Unfortunately, that may count against them as they look for new jobs, according to a study recently released by an advocacy group.

That study found that employers seem to be discriminating against those who do not have jobs by specifying in help-wanted ads that the unemployed are less welcome than those who are currently working. Discrimination is an all-too-prevalent social ill in the employment market. This appears to be another circumstance in which employers are not judging prospective workers on acceptable things like merit and experience.

The National Employment Law Project studied more than 150 ads from employers on websites likes Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com. Researchers found that a majority of them required that applicants be "currently employed" or "currently or recently employed."

A recently proposed federal law might address this situation. The Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011 is meant to stop employers and employment agencies from ruling out applications from those who are not working at the time they apply.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against in an employment situation, you might want to consider a consultation with an employment law attorney. Discrimination takes many forms and it can be difficult to determine whether a given situation meets the legal definition for discrimination. An experienced employment law attorney will likely have worked on matters like yours before and may be able to help you understand your potential case better.

Source: The South Florida Sun Sentinel, "Discrimination against unemployed continues in online ad posting, study says," Marcia Heroux Pounds, 12 July 2011.

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