Unemployed (and Black) Need Not Apply: A Discussion of Unemployment Discrimination, Its Disparate Impact on the Black Community, and Proposed Legal Remedies

Source: Jasmine A. Williams, Howard Law Journal, Vol. 56 no. 2, Winter 2013
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…Discrimination against the unemployed is having a negative impact on the job-seeking community in general. However, it is having an extremely adverse impact on the black community. There are many proposed solutions to this problem, although few propose to address the effect of the practice in the black community. These several prominent proposed remedies can be divided into two categories: private suits and legislative remedies. Private suits describe the proposal to create a cause of action that would allow applicants to bring lawsuits for discrimination based on unemployment status. Legislative remedies refer to proposed remedies such as hiring tax incentives and government-sponsored work training programs.

This Comment argues that a private cause of action is an inadequate and unrealistic remedy to address the problem of unemployment discrimination. Part I discusses the nature of the problem as it pertains to the black community. Part II describes the proposed private cause of action remedy, the history of employment discrimination, the approach courts have taken in response to this issue under Title VII, and the application of Title VII standards to a proposed cause of action for discrimination based on unemployment status. Part III discusses legislative proposed remedies and their viability. Part IV addresses some of the qualities necessary for an appropriate remedy. Lastly, Part V summarizes the remedies discussed and their potential for success…