(WASHINGTON) -- The unemployed in the U.S. are still a minority and, consequently, they're being discriminated against, says Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson.
What disturbs the Democratic lawmaker are want ads from companies that specify that job applicants "must be currently employed."
Johnson says, "I just thought about how unfair that was, to discriminate against people who had lost their jobs due to no fault of their own, who were just victims of corporate downsizing during a tough economy."
To remedy this inequity, Johnson introduced a bill that would include the unemployed in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers would be forbidden to deny a job applicant work or lower compensation because of the applicant's current employment status.
If there's an alleged case of unemployment discrimination, the plaintiff would have to prove his case, which might be difficult. Yet, Johnson believes his Fair Employment Act of 2011 would dissuade employers from using language that shuts out jobless applicants.
The likelihood of Johnson's amendment passing is small, given Republicans in Georgia control the state's Legislature.
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