The EEOC’s tilting at a new windmill: Companies that allegedly screen out the unemployed when considering candidates for open positions.
The idea is, since minorities comprise a higher percentage of the unemployed than whites do, eliminating the jobless from competition for open positions could be regarded as discriminatory.
The agency held a hearing on the issue this week. Among the speakers were college professors, spokespeople for various advocacy groups and attorneys for employers.
It was generally agreed that if employers were, indeed, excluding the unemployed from the applicant screening process, it could, indeed, adversely affect minorities, women, older applicants and the disabled.
OK. We get that.
But there’s no real evidence employers are excluding the unemployed. Nobody seems to know what the EEOC could do to address the issue — if it exists — or if the agency even has the authority to do so.
Finally, why would any sensible employer do such a thing?
We’re assuming the normal company wants to hire the best fit for every open position. Why narrow the field of available candidates — especially using such an arbitrary standard?
People find themselves out of a job for myriad reasons. To automatically disqualify a candidate simply because he or she’s unemployed is plain stupid.