How is "Long- Term Unemployment" Defined?
|Not the Good Old Days....|
If you have been unemployed for more than 6 months, you are considered "long-term unemployed."
According to data collected via a recent study completed by HuffPost, 40% of those that have become unemployed since 2009 fit that criteria. They are often referred to as "chronically unemployed," an even more painful moniker.
According to the study, the 40% figure equatres to "the highest rate of long-term joblessness the country has seen since at least the 1940s, according to the Labor Department. As of March, that's 4.6 million people."
What Are the Chances of Finding Work if You Are Chronically Unemployed?
The HuffPost study found that applicants with pertinent experience that have been out of work for more than 6 months are less favored than a recently employed applicant with little or no experience.
What is ILLEGAL Workplace Discrimination?
The definition of "discrimination" is "the act of making a distinction." We discriminate everyday when selecting our outfits, who we choose to engage with and what route we decide to take to and from work.
|Left Out Due to Color = Illegal|
Title VII, and other federal laws such as the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, etc., have led to a clear definition of illegal workplace discrimination, to wit, distinguishing between workers based upon their sex, race, age, national origin, disability and/or religious beliefs, and making hiring and firing decisions based thereon.
Why Discrimination Against Unemployed is NOT Illegal Discrimination
|Job Status Not Covered|
Discrimination against the unemployed may be rampant, but it is not illegal. In fact, referring to this obviously distasteful hiring practice as "discrimination" is misleading. Simply stated, and like it or not, one's status as "chronically unemployed" is not protected under federal discrimination laws, and therefore does not constitute illegal discrimination.
New York City has passed a law that makes hiring choices based upon employment status unlawful (I believe it becomes effective in June 2013); this is the only known state or municipal law of its kind.
In 2011, President Obama implored Congress to create a similar ban. This request fell on deaf ears. Consequently, choosing not to hire an applicant on the grounds of his/her employment status is not illegal discrimination under federal law, nor is it unlawful anywhere with the exception of New York City.
John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania.
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