Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mini News Quiz

President Obama's proposed new "American Jobs Act" prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants who are...

(a) politically active
(b) environmentally conscious
(c) recently divorced
(d) currently unemployed


Dan Mont said...

Currently unemployed, right?

Alexander Mont said...

That is correct. See:

Charles Lane does have a good point, which is always a general concern with antidiscrimination law - what if the criterion that you want to avoid "discriminating against" is actually related to the qualifications you are looking for? However, there are several other problems with Lane's argument:

"In any case, if a firm that refuses to consider the unemployed is wrong about the costs and benefits of doing so, they’ll lose business to competitors that recruit differently. The market will punish them swiftly and effectively."

You could make exactly the same argument about, say, race or gender discrimination. Does Lane think that race and gender antidiscrimination laws are a bad idea?

"Be that as it may, the no-jobless-need-apply problem is probably not nearly as widespread, or as harmful to the unemployed, as Obama and other advocates of legislation suggest. The National Employment Law Project, which has made “unemployment discrimination” a cause celebre, found a total of 150 exclusionary ads in a four-week survey of four job-search sites --,, and That’s 150 -- out of more than a million postings on the Web at any given time."

There are probably zero postings that say "no minorities need apply" or "no women need apply". Does that imply that race and gender discrimination is not a problem?