12 On Your Side: Unemployment discrimination frustrates those looking for jobs

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Feb. 27, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- As if finding a job isn't hard enough these days, now some some companies are requiring applicants to currently hold a full-time job to even be considered for a position.

Tarla Handley's frustration grows every day that goes by that she is unemployed.

"It's been about three months," she said.

She has years of restaurant experience, both as manager and bartender, but has not been able to find work in the Augusta area.

"Why is that when I'm working, I get more offers than when I'm not working? Nobody wants to give you a chance," she complained.

Handley says she is getting passed up for jobs simply because she does not have a job.

"I think that's not fair at all and it is discriminating," she said in tears.

Last year, the National Employment Law Project identified more than 150 ads on Careerbuilder, Indeed, Monster and Craigslist that required applicants to be currently employed.

A viewer contacted News 12 On Your Side about a job posting with CareSouth Homecare Professionals in Augusta. Under requirements, the company wrote, "is a full-time employee within the geographical area of service."

CareSouth told News 12: "Apparently, there is some confusion about the language pertaining to the requirements of the job. That language is intended to let the applicant know that one of the requirements will be that the employee will be expected to perform full-time duties in the geographic area of the job posting.

As providers of home health care, hospice and rehabilitation services, we would never consider disregarding applicants just because they are unemployed."

The company has since removed the requirement from its web posting.

Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia introduced a bill to Congress to protect unemployed workers. However, the Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011, which would make it illegal for employers to discriminate against the unemployed, is being reviewed in committee.

"Every day, two or three times a day, I go online -- sometimes when you get tired, your eyes get heavy, then you go back," Handley said.

Even though her heart weighs heavy, too, she says, she won't give up until someone looks past her current employment status.

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