Jobless Discrimination?

An employer can't discriminate hiring an employee on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, or disability - but what about joblessness? Can a company refuse to hire you simply by the fact that you don't have a job?

Adam Cohen of TIME Magazine explores the phenomenon of jobless discrimination:

Job seekers have long known, of course, that it's easier to land a job when you are still working. There are no hard data on discrimination against the unemployed. But there have been reports from across the country of companies' making clear in job listings that they are not interested in people who are out of work. Employment experts say other companies have policies of hiring only people with jobs — but do not publicly acknowledge their bias. [...]

Some employers argue that they have a perfectly reasonable right to weed out the unemployed and that it is just good business. People who have lost jobs or have never been hired are less qualified as a group than those who are currently working, they say. People who are out of the workforce for a significant period of time may also have fallen behind in skills.


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Sony Ericksson was the company featured in Time Magazine who, as a matter of written policy, is only considering people for employment who are currently working. When the story broke with understandable public outrage, Sony quickly stated that this policy was a ‘mistake.’ Folks, this was no mistake. This was a planned strategic move by Sony to eliminate those people (try 17% of America’s working population) perceived as damaged goods. Sony is not alone. Many companies are adhering to this retched approach to hiring ‘the best and the brightest.’ Instead of getting angry (easy to do), we need to organize and make an example of Bert Norberg (CEO of Sony Ericsson). (1) Coast to Coast boycott of their products; (2) pressure brought to bear on all public entities to rid themselves of any S.E. stock currently held in investment, pension, etc. portfolios; (3) a grass roots effort to harass and otherwise make the life of Bert Nordberg as miserable as it can possibly be made. How many more times are we, as a people, going to bend over and ‘take it.’ It is time for war.
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You might want to reexamine what you are calling a "right". Who is going to provide you with food, shelter, and a job? A "right" does not involve staking claim to the fruits of someone else's labor. "The pursuit of happiness" is not a guarantee that you will achieve it. That part is up to you.

Like it or not, a job is not a "right". Nor does your job belong to you. It's belongs to your employer. Unless you have a contract, they can remove it at anytime. It may be cruel, but it works out for the best.

What's being discussed is equal opportunity to a job, not a job as a right. Two very different things. I don't think anyone wants to go to the doctor's office only to find themselves being examined by a former construction worker with no medical training. You might question it as he pulls a needle out, but... "the housing market is down, and I have a right to a job".
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Overthrow the ignominy that is capitalism and institute a real Bill of Rights: one that provides food (a right), shelter (another right) and labor ( yet still another right).

Revolution today or destitution tomorrow. It's up to you. No one is going to give you your rights: You must take them.
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The biggest problem with employment is the bloody employers.

I've been subjected to three hour telephone shotgun interviews, four interviews (my travelling expense) just to get shortlisted for a fifth interview - for an office tea makers job, interviews just to make up the numbers, employers looking at their watch in the middle of an interview, yawning in an interview...

I honestly think the employers need to have reality bashed into their thick heads.
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