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The Unemployed Could Be a Protected Class

On January 29, 2014, a Connecticut congresswoman, a Georgia congressman, and a Connecticut Senator introduced a bill in both houses of government detailing the unemployed as the latest protected class in the United States. According to the proposed “Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2014,” employers and employment agencies are prevented from discriminating against the unemployed. Employers and agencies will be prohibited from refusing employment to unemployed persons based on their unemployed status, nor will the employers be able to use any sort of language that insinuates that the unemployed, “need not apply.” Those discriminated against on this basis can be awarded the right to sue the employer or agency for punitive and compensatory damages.

The bill was first introduced back in 2011. The President is expected to meet with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the bill's sponsors to discuss discrimination reform.

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