HARTFORD – Governor Malloy hailed the Connecticut House of Representatives for approving legislation he introduced that removes certain barriers to employment that often prevents long-term unemployed residents from even being considered for available job openings.
“Connecticut has some of the most talented and skilled workers in the nation, but there are certain barriers that sometimes can prevent even the most talented worker from being considered for a job,” Governor Malloy said. “While we are making steady progress at growing our economy, we still have more work to do. These proposals are focused on helping unemployed job seekers, and particularly those who are long-term unemployed, to gain employment. I want to thank the bipartisan Program Review Committee, particularly its co-chair State Representative Mary Mushinsky for her advocacy on this issue. I would also like to thank Commerce co-chair State Representative Chris Perone and Labor co-chair State Representative Peter Tercyak for helping gain passage of this legislation through the House, and I look forward to its approval in the Senate so I can sign it into law.”
The legislation, House Bill 5274 – An Act Concerning Unemployed Individuals and Discriminatory Hiring Practices, prohibits an employer or an employment agency from advertising a job opening stating that an individual must be currently employed for consideration for a position, and also prohibits an employer from directing an employment agency to screen applicants based on employment status.
The legislation does not make individuals who are unemployed a protected class, nor does it prevent an employer from choosing the best candidate for the position. The legislation will ensure that individuals will not be placed at an unfair disadvantage simply because he or she is not currently employed.
HB 5274, which now moves to the State Senate for consideration, is one part of a three-pronged legislative package the Governor unveiled in January targeting unemployed job seekers. Other proposals currently pending before the General Assembly include expanding the state’s successful Step Up job creation program by $10 million, and creating a statewide “Platform to Employment” program that will provide a cost-effective solution to help the long-term unemployed find employment.
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