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Oregon; Washington, DC, Ban Discrimination Against the Unemployed

American Staffing Association (04/13/12) Anne Duffy

The city of Washington, DC, and the state of Oregon recently enacted laws that prohibit employers and employment agencies from discriminating against job applicants based on their status as unemployed. New Jersey had previously enacted such a law, and similar legislation is pending in Arizona, Illinois, Nebraska, New York, and Michigan.

The DC Unemployed Discrimination Act of 2012, set to take effect next week, will prohibit employers and employment agencies from discriminating against job applicants based on their status as unemployed and will be the first law to ban the consideration of an applicant’s unemployment status in adverse hiring decisions.

The Oregon law took effect March 27. It prohibits employers and employment agencies from publishing job advertisements that include language indicating that unemployed individuals should not apply for the job or that they will not be considered for the position.