New York City passed a bill yesterday making it illegal for employers to reject job applicants based on their unemployment status.
While the new law makes New York City the biggest protector of unemployed job-seekers in the nation, it could backfire.
Jennifer Peltz at the Associated Press reports that giving job seekers the right to sue companies " could have the [unintended] effect of making employers [wary]," especially of giving those categorized as the long-term unemployed — or those who haven't had a job for at least six months — a chance to interview. Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed the bill for this reason (though his veto was overridden).
Barbara Hoey , a New York-based employment lawyer at Littler Mendelson, agrees, and told us that employers will now be even more cautious about who they interview: "I could say, 'If I call them in and give them false hope and they don't get hired, am I going to get sued?'
"The job interview today for many employers is a minefield, because you’re always worrying that you could potentially open your company up to a lawsuit." E ven baseless claims cost companies time and money.
According to the BLS, more than 1 in 3 unemployed workers have been looking for a job for at least six months.
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