Unemployed Need Not Apply

A recent article in the Huffington Post- Disturbing Job Ads: ‘The Unemployed Will Not Be Considered’ explores a troubling new trend found in job ads being placed for open employment opportunities. A number of business are saying upfront that individuals who are not currently employed will not be considered for jobs, with one posting going so far as to state a “Client will not consider/review anyone NOT currently employed regardless of the reason.” Pretty harsh, especially in one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression.

As ridiculous as this may be, there are no laws protecting people from discrimination on the basis of being unemployed, with the exception of the burden of proof showing that a policy barring the unemployed has a disparate impact on minority groups.

One employer with such a policy stated “It’s our preference that they currently be employed,” he said. “We typically go after people that are happy where they are and then tell them about the opportunities here.” While it makes sense to ensure that applicants have the proper set of skills and are current with whatever field they are in, this approach seems to ignore the realities of the current economic climate, and that there are millions of talented individuals who are out of work for no reason other than a poor economy and bad luck. It wrongfully assumes that these individuals deserve to be or enjoy being unemployed.

Conversely, in bad economies, employers are likely to retain their best and most efficient talent, making currently employed individuals more desirable. But is this blanket ban a good business decision? These policies smack more of lazy employers than lazy employees.

Any type of prohibition for a certain group of employees is suspect, and to go target the unemployed seems like a highly questionable business decision. Do you know of any companies with these policies? Let us know.