Americans complain they are being screened out of job openings for the very reason they're looking for work in the first place. Some companies and job agencies prefer applicants who already have jobs, or haven't been jobless too long.You may have help. President Barack Obama's jobs bill, would ban companies with 15 or more employees from refusing to consider _ or offer a job to _ someone who is unemployed. The measure also applies to employment agencies and would prohibit want ads that disqualify applicants just because they are unemployed.

The effort to protect the unemployed has drawn praise from workers' rights advocates, but business groups say it will just stir up needless litigation by frustrated job applicants. The provision would give those claiming discrimination a right to sue, and violators would face fines of up to $1,000 per day, plus attorney fees and costs.

"Threatening business owners with new lawsuits is not going to help create jobs and will probably have a chilling effect on hiring," said Cynthia Magnuson, spokeswoman for the National Federation of Independent Business. "Business owners may be concerned about posting a new job if they could face a possible lawsuit."

A survey earlier this year by the National Employment Law Project found more than 150 job postings on employment Web sites such as and requiring that applicants "must be currently employed" or using other exclusionary language based on current employment status.

The issue has gained more prominence as the unemployment level remains stuck over 9 percent and a record 4.5 million people _ nearly one-third of the unemployed _ have been out of work for a year or more.

I'd like to hear from both sides on the show today. If you are an employer don't you think it's your right to hire the RIGHT person, no matter what.

And if you are unemployed are you happy congress is considering making this a rule?


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