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Provision may reduce unemployment discrimination

Posted on October 10th, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

Unemployed Americans may look to staffing agencies to afford them opportunities as temporary workers due to not being able to find a full-time job.

Temp work can bridge the gap between regular positions on a person's resume, and looks good to employers who prefer to hire someone currently in the job force over someone who's unemployed.

However, the Associated Press reports that a provision in President Barack Obama's jobs bill would ban companies with 15 or more employees from discriminating against a prospective applicant simply because he or she is unemployed. The measure would also extend to employment agencies that discourage the unemployed from inquiring.

"There's a flood of workers looking for jobs right now and unfortunately, this is a convenient way to streamline the process by employers," said Maurice Emsellem, policy director for the National Employment Law Project, as quoted by the Washington Post. "Some companies might assume people who have been out of work for several months may not be stellar performers."

Yet there is concern that if the bill passes, it would allow the unemployed to sue companies they felt engaged in discriminatory practices. Fines could reach as much as $1,000 per day, plus attorney fees.

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