Bill Heeds President Obama’s Call to Give All Americans a Fair Shot


WASHINGTON, DC— Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2014 today, which would prohibit employers and employment agencies from discriminating against unemployed job-seekers by refusing to consider them for employment. President Obama is convening a meeting on the subject with business leaders this Friday.


“In a tough job market, where workers are competing against tens and sometimes hundreds of others for every available job opening, it is unjust for employers to discriminate against those who are unemployed,” DeLauro said. “We have seen ample evidence that unemployed individuals are continuing to fall prey to discriminatory practices reducing their opportunities to be considered for a job. The Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2014 would prohibit employers and employment agencies from discriminating against unemployed job-seekers, and ensure that all Americans have the same opportunities for employment.”


“Discrimination against the unemployed – especially the long-term unemployed – in job ads and hiring practices flies in the face of what we stand for as a nation: Equal opportunity for all,” said Johnson. “I'm hopeful that this can be a bipartisan effort because unemployment affects everyone. I’m proud to work with my Congressional colleagues and President Obama to stop this injustice.”


"Discrimination in the work place is abhorrent and unacceptable – and should be banned," said Blumenthal, who is introducing the Fair Employment Opportunity Act in the Senate today. "Facing the toughest job market in recent history, American workers deserve to be judged on their qualifications, not denied opportunity solely because they are currently unemployed or other extraneous factors. This bill aims to provide remedies for workers in Connecticut and around the country who all too commonly are victims of discriminatory practices.”


With the national unemployment rate currently hovering just under seven percent, about four million Americans have been out of work for more than six months. But companies across the country continue to require current employment to be considered for available positions, and these discriminatory practices are eliminating employment opportunities for those who need them most. The Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2014 would prevent employers and employment agencies from refusing to consider or offer employment to someone who is unemployed, or including language in any job advertisements or postings that states unemployed individuals are not qualified.


DeLauro, Johnson and Blumenthal also introduced this bill in 2011. President Obama included a similar provision in the American Jobs Act he proposed at the 2012 State of the Union.