Discrimination against the unemployed

It's illegal in this country to discriminate on the basis of sex, race or age -- but are there any protections for the long-term unemployed?

They discovered it by accident. When Scott Pelley and his team of producers set out to profile Joe Carbone and his Platform to Employment program, they started hearing the same complaint from people who are out of work: if you've been unemployed for a year or more, some companies won't even give you an interview.

Although it's not hard to find job ads that say "must be currently employed," Pelley's producer Henry Schuster says that bias against the jobless can often be insidious. "Some of these people refer to it as 'the silent no,'" said Schuster. "But there's also the pretty overt 'we don't want you.'"

Associate producer Rachael Kun spent nearly six months following the progress of a group of jobless men and women in Connecticut who were enrolled in the Platform for Employment program. "There's obviously a stigma," said Kun. "Employers tend to believe that it's the individual's fault if he can't find a job."

What do you think? Should there be a law against this kind of discrimination? Or is it a reasonable way for employers to choose the best candidate for a job?

60 Minutes App

New Look. New Season. The 60 Minutes app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch!

More 60 minutes Overtime

Comments