Pennsylvania Moving to Ban Discrimination Against Unemployed

By Eric B. Meyer

In 2011, New Jersey passed a law banning discrimination against the unemployed. Will Pennsylvania follow suit in 2013?

The ball is rolling….

The Pennsylvania House introduced its own unemployment-discrimination bill on January 22, 2013, and you can view a copy of it here.

Here’s the Cliffs Notes version:

  • Employers CAN’T use one’s unemployment as a negative factor when considering candidates for job openings.
  • However, employers CAN consider an individual’s employment history or factual and objective reasons underlying an individual’s unemployment status in assessing an individual’s ability to perform the vacant job.
  • Employers CAN’T advertise anything resembling “unemployed need not apply.”
  • However, employers CAN assess whether an individual’s employment in a similar or related job for a period of time reasonably proximate to the consideration of the individual for employment is consistent with industry practice and necessary to successful performance of the vacant job

Employers that violate the law face fines and potential civil litigation. The statute of limitations is 2 years and taking adverse action against an individual within 90 days of the person’s exercise of rights protected under the Act raises a rebuttable presumption of retaliation.

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This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.