On April 25th, Huffington Post reported on a recent law passed in New Jersey in March that prohibits job postings that may be discriminatory in nature. Who are these posts discriminating against? The unemployed.
Any job ads that specifically exclude those still unemployed will be deemed unfair by the state. In greater detail the statute:
Forbids an employer or employer’s agent, representative or designee from “knowingly or purposefully” publishing a job advertisement containing one of three types of provisions:
- That being currently employed is a job requirement;
- That the employer will not consider or review job applications from those who are currently unemployed; or
- That the employer will only consider the applications of those currently employed.
One example includes Sony Ericsson’s post stating, “no unemployed candidates will be considered at all.” Those caught with such ads will be fined $1,000 on first offense and $5,000 - $10,000 on any following violations.
The news of the law has offered a variety of responses. Some say the legislation is laughable and recruiters will find a way around reviewing unemployed applicants while others think the legislation is laudable and the right step towards further decreased unemployment rates. Since it’s still early, results have yet to show the statute’s direct impact. Other states are also jumping on this bandwagon. New York submitted the same type of legislation on May 3, 2011.
A big complaint is that the law will force recruiters to sift through a lot more resumes. I should say, recruiters using applicant tracking systems shouldn’t be affected as they will be able to search based on skill set regardless of if the person is employed or not. But for those not leveraging technology, resumes could grow exponentially and without the right number of staff to handle it, HR processes and resources will be strained.
As for my two fluffy cents - I personally think it is unfair to exclude perfectly qualified people based on the fact they have been out of work for a while. Especially, since I know many bright individuals who have struggled to find work solely due to the job market and not their skill set.
Even if you don’t live in New Jersey, you may be dealing with this legislation in your own state soon. How do you think this will affect or not affect your recruitment process? What are your thoughts on the ruling?