In the latest sign that discrimination against the unemployed is becoming a high-profile issue, an online activist group is pressuring a top job search website to ban ads that warn the jobless not to apply.
"On Monster.com, employers are allowed to prevent anyone who is currently unemployed from applying for a job," Change.org told supporters in an email sent this afternoon. The group, which acts as an online platform to promote liberal causes, is circulating a petition that asks Monster.com to prohibit such ads.
Monster.com, one of the world's largest job sites, has found itself in the cross-hairs of this issue for weeks. After The Lookout reported last month that the New York Times had found numerous ads discriminating against the unemployed on Monster and other job sites, Monster announced via Twitter that it "strongly oppose[s] discriminating vs. the unemployed." But it declined to say it would ban the practice, and in a followup statement released last week, the company said it's the responsibility of employers to decide what to say in their postings.
With nearly 14 million Americans officially unemployed, and long-term joblessness at record levels, bills have been introduced in both houses of Congress to impose a nationwide ban on job ads that discriminate against the unemployed. New Jersey recently passed a similar ban.
In addition, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been looking into whether anti-jobless discrimination, which has a disproportionate impact on racial minorities, violates federal laws against racial discrimination in hiring.