Research shows that the long-term unemployed are frequently overlooked and sometimes excluded from job opportunities. Employers and employment agencies have posted job vacancy notifications with language such as “No unemployed candidates considered at all” or “Only currently employed candidates will be considered.”
The National Employment Law Project has found that the “falling unemployment rate and improving economic conditions are not translating into adequate job opportunities for millions of long-term unemployed job seekers.” A study found that long-term unemployed workers with otherwise identical resumes were called back for interviews at rates 45% lower than the short-term unemployed. Employers are disinclined to hire even well-qualified job applicants who have been out of work for six months or longer. Three Princeton economists found that only 11% of those unemployed for more than 6 months will ever regain steady full-time work.
In California 40.5% of unemployed Californians have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer, which is defined as long-term unemployed. 214,800 people in California lost their unemployment benefits on December 28, 2013 when the federal unemployment benefits lapsed and 836,100 will lose access to benefits through 2014.
AB 2271 would seek to prevent employers, including the state and local agencies, or employment agencies from affirmatively asking an applicant for employment to disclose information concerning employment status until the employer or employment agency has determined that the applicant meets the minimum employment qualifications for the position.
The bill would also prohibit an employer, employment agency, or person who operates on Internet Web Site for posting jobs in this state from publishing a job announcement or advertisement containing a provision stating or indicating that an individual’s current employment is a requirement for the job, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification.