Bill Would Ban Unemployment Discrimination in New York

June 6, 2011

New York lawmakers recently introduced legislation that would make it illegal for businesses to discriminate against unemployed job seekers, Reuters reports.

New Jersey Employment Lawyers understand how difficult it can be to find work right now. Millions of Americans are searching job postings, sending out resumes and hoping for callbacks to get back on their feet. And it's tragic when companies decide not to hire someone just because they've been out of work, the result of which may not even be their fault. Unfortunately, its not against the law. Disqualifying an employee for other reasons -- including sex, age or race -- is illegal and should be handled by a discrimination attorney in New Jersey.
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The article says the bill would make the unemployed a protected class under New York law, which would give them the same status as other groups, such as the physically disabled. It would also make it illegal to post job openings and openly discourage unemployed applicants.

This type of discrimination contributes to the increased problem of long-term unemployment, lawmakers said. The New York State Department of Labor reports the unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in April, down almost 1 percent from April 2010.

New York is catching up to New Jersey, which was the first state to ban a form of unemployment discrimination by pushing through a bill that made it illegal for companies to require their applicants be employed. It took effect on June 1. There is no federal statute banning employment discrimination, but a Democratic Representative from Georgia recently introduced the Fair Employment Act, which would prohibit hiring practices based on the unemployed.

All this is good news for job seekers. But while these are improvements to the law, it may not protect you at your job. Employers aren't always legally required to treat their employees fairly, unless the discrimination is based on religion, race, age, gender physical condition, sexual orientation, national origin, veteran or military status or other legally protected class.

If you feel a company has discriminated against you in New York or New Jersey, contact Resnick & Associates, P.C. at 973-781-1204 or 646-867-7997. We are located in East Hanover, N.J. and Midtown Manhattan on Broadway.