New York City Employers Can No Longer Ask If You’re Unemployed

Speaker Quinn.

Speaker Quinn.

The New York City Council passed a bill today that prohibits employers from considering an applicant’s current employment status when making hiring decisions.

The bill would also put an end to job ads that say applicants must be currently employed. Under this measure, New York would be the first city in the country providing people with the opportunity to sue on the basis of unemployment discrimination.

“Imagine spending every day and night for months upon months upon months looking for a job–only to be told ‘don’t even bother … unemployed need not apply,’” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who supported the bill. “We cannot–and will not–allow New Yorkers who are qualified and ready to work have the door of opportunity slammed in their faces.”

The Council cited that 51 percent of unemployed New Yorkers have been job-hunting for over six months, but many job listings require candidates to already be employed.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose signature is required to codify any City Council-approved bill into law, has vowed to veto this one, according to Metro.

Hizzoner called it “one of the most misguided pieces of legislation” and claimed it would “damage lots of small businesses” to Capital New York.

Whatever side of the argument you’re on, the city has an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and that’s a lot of people who need all the help they can get.