Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Our Feet on Their Backs

A few years ago, my friend Algernon D’Ammassa wrote about taking a leave of absence from his employer. They filled his position with a temp. She was a capable, energetic woman who quickly showed her value to the organization, and when Algernon returned to his position, his employer decided to keep her on. One condition of her permanent employment, though, was a credit and background check. Alas, the credit check revealed that the young woman had once declared bankruptcy. Just like that, she was out of the running and jobless.
More and more, it seems acceptable in our culture to blame others for their own misfortunes. If someone has been unemployed for a long period of time, he or she must be lazy or stupid or both. Compassion is for suckers.
Nowadays, job ads appear warning the jobless that they need not apply. Last year, Sony Ericsson decided to move its headquarters to an Atlanta suburb. The move would create 180 new jobs, but included in the job announcement was this: “No unemployed candidates will be considered at all.”
More such ads seem be surfacing. In the words of Mr. D’Ammassa: “We put our feet on the backs of those who try to get back up.”


Debby said...

That's pretty awful. When you refuse to look at the person (no matter what criteria you're judging them on), you're bigoted. Period. You're stereotyping people based on one thing, refusing to look at anything else.

quid said...

The media jumped on this trend... to not hire the jobless. Hopefully, that will have some impetus. It's crazy.

I think, as time goes by, employers who do credit checks before employment will become fewer and fewer. Too many risks.


Algernon said...

During the winter, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took a look at this practice to see if they could help. There are no specific legal protections for unemployed people, however. Current employment is simply not a measure of job performance.

To add insult to injury, another idea that is gaining popularity (although not much legislation yet) is drug testing anyone who receives unemployment insurance benefits. Since when is losing your job evidence of drug abuse? It is such a mean-spirited time in our country.

Mary Paddock said...

Yep. It's a difficult time to be a member of the unemployed working class and if you have bad or iffy credit, you're in deeper trouble.

Kelly said...

You mean there are places that will only hire people who are currently working at another job? That's crazy!

Roland said...


Bob said...