Employment Status Has Nothing to Do with Ability

Person holding sign: "Please help. Hard times. Unemployed."

This is the second time that I have read an article related to employers not considering job applicants simply because they are unemployed.

Since when did a person’s employment status become a litmus test for determining a person’s ability to do a job? Why would this one factor negate the skills, experience, and education that would otherwise qualify a person for a position?

Last I checked, the unemployment rate in the US is still hovering just below 10%. While some companies are hiring, others are still downsizing and closing. Not to mention the many other reasons why people may choose to leave the work world for a time: to care for children, to tend to ailing parents, to focus on their own health after contracting an illness.

This quote by Judy Conti, a lobbyist for the National Employment Law Project, sums up my feelings on the matter nicely:

“Making that kind of automatic cut is senseless; you could be missing out on the best person of all,” she said. “There are millions of people who are unemployed through no fault of their own. If an employer feels that the best qualified are the ones already working, they have no appreciation of the crisis we’re in right now.”

To any job seekers out there who get discouraged when they hear that companies are discriminating solely on unemployment status: don’t believe those employers who would say you are not worthy simply because you are not working right now. They’re idiots who don’t deserve all the talent they are passing up.

Image courtesy of jronaldlee

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