Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reportedly, some employers are not even bothering to consider applicants who are currently unemployed.

As 'unemployed' is not a federally protected category, an employer is legally able to exclude them from the pool of potential hires (I'm not saying this is a good idea, just that they're legally able to do so).

But here comes the EEOC, which is looking into whether employers have adopted this practice as a means of discriminating against blacks and older workers (who are reportedly more likely to be unemployed). If employers were doing so, it would be a big no-no.

But does the thought that employers are doing so even pass the laugh test? I think not.

A pool of applicants to a particular job is going to consist of people with all sorts of experience. Right off the top, an employer can eliminate anyone who doesn't have relevant experience. With all the people with experience who are looking for jobs, why even consider looking at someone who doesn't?

Of the remaining pool of applicants with relevant experience, some portion will be employed, some portion unemployed. And I would figure the racial component of the former would be within a few percentages of the latter. In other words, there are going to be blacks in each group. Just as there is almost definitely going to be older folks in each group.

So tell me how excluding the unemployed from consideration gets a racist employer from having to consider black applicants? Or an employer who doesn't like old people from having to consider older applicants?

It doesn't.... which means it makes no sense that an employer would exclude the unemployed from consideration as a way of discriminating against blacks or older folks.

As it would appear - at least to those of us who don't see illegal discrimination everywhere in life - this is simply as it appears to be... for whatever reason, some employers think that limiting their search to candidates who have managed to hold on to their jobs would produce a higher qualified applicant pool than would be the case if they let anybody apply.