There’s a growing problem with companies that refuse to hire people who don’t already have a job. With unemployment at 9%, this kind of discrimination affects a huge number of people. And it hits Black communities particularly hard, as more than 15% of African Americans are unemployed.

Our friends at USAction launched a campaign asking job listing websites like Monster.com to ban ads that discriminate against the unemployed. But not only did Monster.com refuse to ban these ads — they actually threatened legal action against USAction for raising the issue. Other job listing websites have been completely silent. It’s outrageous.

Today ColorOfChange members are joining USAction, Change.org, and CREDO Action in calling on Monster.com and other job listing websites to stop publishing ads which discriminate against the unemployed. Please join us.

From the email we sent to our members this morning:

At a time when more than 9% of Americans are out of work, during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, no one should have to have a job in order to get a job. This type of discrimination hurts everyone who’s looking for work. But Black people are nearly twice as likely to be unemployed as White folks. And Latinos are also unemployed at a higher rate than Whites.4 Whether it’s intended or not, discrimination against the unemployed is discrimination against Black and Latino Americans.

Democrats in the House and Senate are crafting legislation that would make this kind of discrimination illegal. We’ll keep an eye on that legislation and let you know how you can help get it passed.

But right now, without any law to prevent discrimination against the unemployed, job listing websites could do more than anyone else to stop this practice. These companies are supposed to be in the business of helping people find jobs. But by continuing to publish help wanted ads that say “you must be currently employed to apply,” they’re enabling a practice which makes it even harder to recover for the people who are struggling the hardest in this economy.

Monster.com has said that they’re against discrimination against the unemployed5 — but they’re refusing to stop publishing these ads, saying that they’ll leave it up to individual companies to decide what to do.6 Monster.com wants to have it both ways — they think they can pay lip service to opposing this practice, while continuing to make money off of the companies that engage in it. It’s selfish and irresponsible.

We can help by joining the more than 60,000 people who have already called for Monster.com and other job listing sites to stop discrimination against the unemployed. If enough of us speak out, we can create negative media attention that will make easier for Monster.com to do the right thing than to continue profiting from job listings that discriminate.

Please join us in demanding that Monster.com and other job listing companies stop publishing ads that discriminate against the unemployed:

http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/monster

Thanks and Peace,

– Rashad, James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
   August 25th, 2011

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References

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics News Release, 8-5-11
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

2. “Stop Discrimination Against Unemployed Workers,” USAction
http://act.truemajorityaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=242

3. “Monster.com Says It Won’t Ban Third-Party Ads That Discourage Job Applications From The Unemployed,” Huffington Post, 8-12-11
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/12/monstercom-ads-discourage-the-unemployed_n_925502.html

4. See reference 1.

5. “Updated: Monster Speaks Out Against Employment Discrimination,” 8-8-11
http://www.monsterthinking.com/2011/08/08/monster-speaks-out-against-employment-discrimination/

6. See reference 3.