Job Postings Bills Could Open Pandora’s Box
Two identical bills aimed at prohibiting job discrimination against the unemployed in job postings could open a Pandora’s Box of fraudulent claims on businesses.
Under HB 5054 and HB 5274, job candidates who are unemployed may bring claims against employers if they believe their jobless status is the reason they weren’t hired. HB 5054 was first proposed by the governor through the Labor Committee, and HB 5274 originated in the Commerce Committee.
With Connecticut’s high unemployment rate, and with businesses often receiving hundreds of applications for every job opening, these bills could subject employers to numerous false claims every time they fill a position. Defending against those claims could quickly become costly and time-consuming.
The bills also prohibit employment agencies from screening out unemployed applicants for job vacancies, and ban employers from asking employment agencies to do that.
There’s no doubt that both proposals are well intended. Connecticut’s business community supports protecting the rights of unemployed people and banning discriminatory job postings.
However, need for the bills is speculative since there have been few known instances where any of the activities the bills seek to ban have actually occurred in Connecticut.
Above all, Connecticut businesses simply want and need the best candidates for their jobs – regardless of whether a candidate is currently employed or unemployed.
The business community is doing its part to get as many of Connecticut’s unemployed workers back into the workforce. Hopefully the General Assembly will remove the provisions of HB 5054 and HB 5274 that could falsely accuse the business community of discriminating against individuals they could not afford to hire.
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