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New York City Council passes bill banning discrimination against the unemployed

Yesterday, the New York City Council passed a bill that prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants because they are unemployed. This bill is reportedly similar to other laws in New Jersey, Oregon, and the District of Columbia except New York City’s law is the first in the nation to permit applicants to sue an employer in court if it discriminates against them on the basis of their employment status.

“Discrimination is wrong in all its forms, and we cannot — and will not — allow New Yorkers who are qualified and ready to work have the door of opportunity slammed in their faces,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said. “This bill will stop unfair hiring practices that are hurting New Yorkers who are trying to get back on their feet.”

Mayor Bloomberg has threatened to veto the bill arguing that it will hurt businesses and discourage new hiring. However, the New York City Council passed the bill in a 44-4 vote which signals that it would be able to override the Mayor’s veto since they would only need 34 votes to override the veto.