H.R. 2501: Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011.

A new bill prohibiting employers from discriminating against an individual based on a history of unemployment has been introduced to the House of Representatives. The Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011 states that it shall be an unlawful practice for an employer to:

  • Refuse to consider for employment or refuse to offer employment to an individual because of the individual’s status as unemployed.
  • Publish in print, on the Internet, or in any other medium, an advertisement or announcement for any job that includes:
  • Any provision stating or indicating that an individual’s status as unemployed disqualifies the individual for a job.
  • Any provision stating or indicating that an employer will not consider an applicant for employment based on that individual’s status as unemployed.
  • Direct or request that an employment agency take an individual’s status as unemployed into account in screening or referring applicants for employment.

The bill also addresses the strain placed on commerce by discriminating against individuals with unemployment history:

  • Reducing personal consumption and undermining economic stability and growth.
  • Increasing demands for State and Federal unemployment insurance benefits, reducing trust fund assets, and leading to higher payroll taxes for employers, cuts in benefits for jobless workers, or both.
  • Imposing additional burdens on publicly funded health and welfare programs.
  • Depressing income, property, and other tax revenues that states, municipalities, and the Federal Government rely on to support operations and institutions essential to commerce.

Due to the current economic instability and competitive job market, employers must adhere to anti discrimination laws, to ensure a “level playing field” and reduce claims of discriminatory practices. We will keep you posted with the development of this new bill.

Employers Choice Screening Legislative Alerts are provided as a free service to clients, friends and subscribers of Employers Choice Screening, a division of Diversified Risk Management, Inc. The intent is to provide information of value to attorneys, human resource, security, and risk management professionals. The information contained in this e-mail alert is intended to provide useful information on the topics covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Your comments are appreciated.

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