Tuesday, February 15, 2011

EEOC Hearing on Treatment of Unemployed Job Seekers

Eeoc seal We have all seen the stories reporting that employers are not considering applicants for jobs who are not employed (here, here, and here, for example). Well tomorrow, the EEOC will hear more about that phenomenon. From the press release:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, February 16, at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Time), at agency headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E. In accordance with the Sunshine Act, the meeting is open for public observation of the Commission’s deliberations.

In order to examine the practice by employers of excluding currently unemployed persons from applicant pools, including in job announcements, the Commission will hear from invited panelists on the potential impact on job seekers. The meeting agenda includes:

Panel 1: U.S. Department of Labor’s Latest Unemployment Data

  • William E. Spriggs, Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Labor

Panel 2: Unemployment Status Screening

  • Christine Owens, Executive Director, National Employment Law Project (NELP)
  • Fernan R. Cepero, Vice President for Human Resources, The YMCA of Greater Rochester, representing SHRM
  • Amy Dias, Partner, Jones Day
  • Helen Norton, Professor, University of Colorado Law School

Panel 3: Impact on Unemployed Persons

  • Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment, National Women’s Law Center
  • Algernon Austin, Director of the Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy Program, Economic Policy Institute
  • Joyce Bender, CEO, Bender Consulting Services

A brief question-and-answer session with EEOC Commissioners will follow each panel discussion.

Seating is limited and it is suggested that visitors arrive 30 minutes before the meeting in order to be processed through security and escorted to the meeting room.

This is a very interesting topic, and I'll be curious to hear whether such a refusal is linked to any particular protected class and whether there nonetheless might be enough of a link between having been laid off and future job performance to warrant considering employment status. Research done before the Great Recession suggested that people who said they were laid off from their prior job had significantly worse job performance (at least for temp jobs) than those who said that they had quit their last job. (Richard A. Posthuma, Michael A. Campion & Amber L. Vargas, Predicting Counterproductive Performance among Temporary Workers: A Note, 44 Indus. Rel. 550 (2005)), It would be interesting to know whether the same holds true for workers moving from a "permanent" job to another "permanent" job, and whether it holds true for the huge numbers of workers laid off in the last few years.



Employment Discrimination, Workplace Trends | Permalink

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