Obama: Discrimination Against Unemployed Job-Seekers “Makes Absolutely No Sense”

End Discrimination Against UnemployedPresident Obama said today that discriminating against job-seekers simply "because they've been unemployed" is a practice that "makes absolutely no sense" and that he supports new legislation designed to prohibit that practice.

Arthur Delaney at the Huffington Post reports:

President Obama said during a Tuesday radio show that hiring discrimination against the jobless "makes absolutely no sense" and that he supports legislation to ban the practice.

Sybil Wilkes, a co-host of the "Tom Joyner Morning Show," asked the president about long-term unemployment and businesses that tell applicants, "If you're unemployed, we don't want to hear from you."

Obama noted that the long-term unemployed have a tougher time landing jobs and said a stronger overall economy would make employers less choosy. "But we have seen instances in which employers are explicitly saying we don't want to take a look at folks who've been unemployed," the president continued.

"Well, that makes absolutely no sense, and I know there's legislation that I'm supportive of that says you cannot discriminate against folks because they've been unemployed, particularly when you've seen so many folks who, through no fault of their own, ended up being laid off because of the difficulty of this recession."

Here's the full quote by the President from the transcript of this morning's interview on the Tom Joyner radio show:

"Well, there is no doubt that folks who have been unemployed longer than six months have a tougher time getting back into the job market.  Now, the single most important thing we can do is just have the economy strong so that employers aren’t as choosy because they’ve got to hire because their businesses are expanding.

But we have seen instances in which employers are explicitly saying we don’t want to take a look at folks who've been unemployed. Well, that makes absolutely no sense, and I know there’s legislation that I’m supportive of that says you cannot discriminate against folks because they’ve been unemployed, particularly when you’ve seen so many folks who, through no fault of their own, ended up being laid off because of the difficulty of this recession."

Federal legislation has recently been introduced in Congress to ban the practice of systematically excluding unemployed workers from consideration for jobs due to their being jobless.  We applaud the President for speaking out on this critical issue and for his support for the legislation.

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