In an effort to help stop discrimination against unemployed Californians looking for work who may be passed over by employers or employment agencies only interested in hiring applicants who already have a job, newly proposed legislation in the state – California Assembly Bill No. 1450 (AB 1450) – would fine California employers and employment agencies that refuse to consider jobless applicants for job openings. The full text of California AB 1450 is available at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1401-1450/ab_1450_bill_20120105_introduced.pdf. Introduced by Assemblyman Michael Allen (D-Santa Rosa/San Rafael), California AB 1450 would add Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 1812.50953) to Title 2.91 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code and Chapter 3.95 (commencing with Section 1046) to Part 3 of Division 2 of the Labor Code, relating to employment. The bill would add protections for unemployed jobseekers to existing law that contains provisions defining unlawful discrimination and employment practices by employers and employment agencies. California AB 1450 would make it unlawful, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification or any other provision of law, for:
- An employer to knowingly or intentionally refuse to consider for employment or refuse to offer employment to an individual because of the individual’s status as unemployed, publish an advertisement or announcement for any job that includes provisions pertaining to an individual’s status as unemployed, as specified, or direct or request that an employment agency take an individual’s status as unemployed into account in screening or referring applicants for employment.
- An employment agency to knowingly or intentionally refuse to consider or refer an individual for employment because of the individual’s status as unemployed, limit, segregate, or classify individuals in any manner that may limit their access to information about jobs or referral for consideration of jobs because of their status as unemployed, or publish an advertisement or announcement, as described above with respect to employers.
- An amount not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the first violation.
- An amount not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) for the second violation.
- An amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each subsequent violation.