The 14 million Americans still out of work, some of them for up to five years, are being hit with job ads on huge websites like Monster and Career-Builder and even Craigslist that state clearly that unemployed workers are not wanted.
Catherine Rampell writing in the New York Times reports that all sorts of positions have begun to carry this warning, including those for small businesses, but also for huge companies. The commercial University of Phoenix put the phrase in its ads, but then removed it following an inquiry from the New York Times. The fast-food chain Pollo Tropical offers jobs at all skill levels, some of which are perfect for unemployed workers. But the list also includes jobs for hotel concierges, restaurant managers, teachers, I.T. specialists, business analysts, sales directors, account executives, orthopedics device salesmen, auditors and air-conditioning technicians.
Lawyers say explicitly barring unemployed people from applying for jobs does not qualify under the statutory definition of discrimination, since unemployment is not a federally protected status like age or race. But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is examining whether it can be established that employers are discriminating against certain protected groups within the ranks of the unemployed, such as African-Americans and older workers. And the state of New Jersey recently passed a law barring employment ads that seek to rule out applications from those who are unemployed.
Yahoo News says the reaction from unemployed job seekers across the U.S. is anger and frustration
"The concerted shunning of unemployed Americans by prospective employers was a common theme that cropped up in the thousands of responses that poured in when we asked Yahoo! readers to share their experiences of unemployment for our "Down But Not Out" series."
Yahoo Reader Susan W. said she was being treated
"As if it were my fault I was unemployed, regardless of the fact that I had put out hundreds of resumes and applications."