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President’s proposed American Jobs Act would prohibit discrimination against the unemployed

The American Jobs Act, a bill that President Obama is urging Congress to pass, would prohibit certain employers from discriminating against unemployed applicants. Under the American Jobs Act, it would be an “unlawful employment practice” if a business with 15 or more employees refused to hire a person “because of the individual’s status as unemployed.” Detractors of the bill argue that it will open the door to “nuisance lawsuits.” Supporters of the bill hail the protections against unemployment discrimination as a common sense way to protect people who have been unemployed a long time due to no fault of their own from unfair discrimination.

The District of Columbia and Chicago are also considering passing laws that prohibit unemployment discrimination. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a similar bill into law earlier this year that prohibits employers from posting job advertisements which state that unemployed people may not apply.

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