New State Law Further Regulates Hiring

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Billed as a means to protect out-of-work Oregonians from discrimination, the Oregon legislature passed a new law that prohibits overt unemployment discrimination in job advertisements. Oregon has become only the second state in the country – joining New Jersey – to prohibit this practice.

The New Oregon Law

Unemployment discrimination occurs when an employer only considers currently employed applicants for a position. This may take the form of job advertisements noting that the "unemployed need not apply," or simply flow from a decision maker's informal policy of only considering employed applicants for a position.

Fortunately, the new law is rather limited in scope. It simply prohibits employers from publishing job advertisements that include language indicating that unemployed individuals should not apply for the job or that they will not be considered for the position. An employer whose job advertisements feature language such as "unemployed applicants not considered" or "all applicants must currently be employed" would violate the law. But the new law does NOT bar employers from considering an applicant's employment status during the course of the hiring process.

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