Out Of Work Job Seekers Could Sue Potential Employers in New York City

The lawmakers in the New York City Council are out of their minds.

New York City will soon have the nation's most far-reaching laws barring employers from not interviewing out-of-work job applicants, after lawmakers passed legislation in March over a mayoral veto.

When the law takes effect in three months, the city will be the only one in the U.S. that lets applicants sue employers for damages over claims that they were rejected because of their unemployment status.

This is progressivism on steroids.

Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who's no stranger to big government legislation, thought this was going too far. A business owner himself, Bloomberg vetoed the bill because he knew this would do more to help out-of-work lawyers than it will job seekers. As a mayoral spokeswoman rightfully identified, the bill will make employers fear litigation from every candidate who walks through the door.

Think about that for a minute. We're supposed to be encouraging employers and business owners to be hiring the unemployed and now they carry the risk of a lawsuit just by bringing a candidate in for an interview. This is going to have the opposite effect.

In fact, it will probably only make matters for the jobless worse. This will only encourage employers to outsource more jobs out of state – to New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

But despite his objections, Bloomberg had his veto overridden by the City Council to score populist points with the unemployed and trial lawyers – two key constituencies for the Democratic Party.

Unemployed job-hunters and their advocates say it's unfair to be required to have a job to get a job, particularly after years of high unemployment and layoffs. But while New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. have passed laws barring job ads that say applicants must be employed, none of those states went so far enough to allow job seekers to sue on the grounds that they weren't even interviewed.

Business owners and Bloomberg predict the unemployment-discrimination measure will lead to baseless lawsuits from applicants who are disgruntled but weren't discriminated against, and they're right.

"It is essentially open season on employers in New York City," said Keith Gutstein, an employment lawyer who represents businesses.

The bill was championed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; currently the leading Democratic candidate for mayor after Bloomberg leaves office. Looks like she's already planting the seeds for her support come November. She's also got the unions firmly behind her since she's pushing a bill mandating paid sick days for nearly a million more members. Under the deal, businesses with at least 20 employees would have to offer five paid sick days a year beginning in April 2014. The mandate would extend to businesses with at least 15 workers the following year.

Bloomberg is threatening to veto that bill too, saying it will hurt small businesses and stifle job creation. Quinn says she has the votes to override that veto as well.

This won't help the already weak job market. Good luck New Yorkers.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

John Giokaris

John Giokaris has been contributing to PolicyMic since February 2011. Born and raised in Chicago, John graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a double major in Journalism and Political Science and is currently earning his J.D. at The John Marshall Law School. John believes in free market principles, private sector solutions, transparency, school choice, constitutionally limited government, and being a good steward of taxpayer dollars. His goals are to empower/create opportunity for citizens to use the tools at their disposal to succeed in America, which does more to grow the middle class and alleviate those in poverty than keeping a permanent underclass dependent on government sustenance indefinitely. Sitting on the Board of Directors for both the center-right Chicago Young Republicans and libertarian America's Future Foundation-Chicago, he is also a member of the free market think tank Illinois Policy Institute's Leadership Coalition team along with other leaders of the Illinois business, political, and media communities. John has seven years experience working in writing/publishing, having previously worked at Law Bulletin Publishing, the Tribune Company, and Reboot Illinois. His works have been published in the Chicago Tribune, U.S. News & World Report, Crain's Chicago Business, Reboot Illinois, Townhall, the Law Bulletin, and the RedEye. He's also made appearances on CBS News, PBS, and Al Jazeera America.

MORE FROM

‘New York Times’ interview sparks latest wave of GOP frustration with Trump

The President’s “disturbing” comments on Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew sharp rebukes from his own party.

Jordan Edwards’ mother speaks out after Monday’s indictment of the officer who killed her son

“We will not allow Jordan’s death to be another statistic.”

Trump keeps saying he wants to “let Obamacare fail.” How would that happen?

There are several ways the administration could sabotage the law, experts said.

AIDS deaths are almost half of what they were in 2005 — but experts worry Trump could reverse that

Trump's proposed budget cuts could be detrimental for those living with HIV.

OJ Simpson granted parole after nine years in prison

After serving nine years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery, OJ Simpson was granted parole in a unanimous vote on Thursday.

Black Lives Matter activists respond to the police shooting of Justine Damond

“Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered.”

‘New York Times’ interview sparks latest wave of GOP frustration with Trump

The President’s “disturbing” comments on Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew sharp rebukes from his own party.

Jordan Edwards’ mother speaks out after Monday’s indictment of the officer who killed her son

“We will not allow Jordan’s death to be another statistic.”

Trump keeps saying he wants to “let Obamacare fail.” How would that happen?

There are several ways the administration could sabotage the law, experts said.

AIDS deaths are almost half of what they were in 2005 — but experts worry Trump could reverse that

Trump's proposed budget cuts could be detrimental for those living with HIV.

OJ Simpson granted parole after nine years in prison

After serving nine years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery, OJ Simpson was granted parole in a unanimous vote on Thursday.

Black Lives Matter activists respond to the police shooting of Justine Damond

“Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered.”