ADA Blog


ADA Blog #31

When you have a job vacancy, do you typically only consider those currently employed? Apparently, this is becoming a trend and it has resulted in the EEOC holding a public hearing to examine employers’ treatment of unemployed job applicants.

Using an individual’s current or recent unemployment status as a hiring selection device is a troubling development in the labor market. It goes against the very purpose of implementing July 2010 Executive Order requiring the Federal government to develop and implement a plan whose goal is to hire 100,000 people with disabilities by 2015. It occurs to me that this emerging practice of excluding unemployed persons from application pools to screen job applicants may “act as a negative counterweight” to government efforts to get people back to work.

Current national employment statistics show that African-Americans and Hispanics are overrepresented among the unemployed. Dr. William Spriggs, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy, stated that excluding the unemployed would be more likely to limit opportunities for older applicants as well as persons with disabilities.

I’m not sure why this trend is occurring...but I do know that if this is the case, employers are hampering their Diversity Program Initiatives and missing a key segment of our population--people with disabilities--who bring a wealth of knowledge, skills and assets to the workforce, workplace and marketplace. Ultimately this omission could have a negative effect on the company’s bottom line. Think about how you handle new hires the next time you’re filling a job vacancy. Hiring a qualified applicant with disabilities from the outside, just might provide a good return on your investment by gaining a highly motivated, productive, creative, and loyal employee that will save you money over the long-term.


This information should not be construed as "legal advice" for a particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject.  Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.