It's Still Happening!
I hoped that perhaps this ugly practice was brought to light, studied, and wiped out, like a bad petrie dish in a lab, after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a meeting about it last February. According to testimony given at the hearing by Helen Norton of the University of Colorado School of Law, the jobs that have been denied to people include “freight handlers, restaurant managers, sales representatives and other salespersons, litigation associates, mortgage underwriters, electrical engineers, apartment maintenance technicians, and executive assistants." One such employer is a Texas electronics firm; another is an Indiana restaurant.
This is not a new attitude, by any means! The whole story brings to mind an Oscar-nominated film from 1997—The Full Monty. It’s the tale of six unemployed men who are mates at Job Club (presumably the British equivalent of the unemployment office). They decide to rent a theater, sell tickets, and strip—boosting ticket sales with promises to take it all off, all the way down to the “full Monty," as it were. In a scene in which one of them wins a job interview, the prospective employers wonder if he’s lost his touch during the months off work, and he energetically, nervously, reassures them that he’s still got what it takes.
The issue continues, however, to rear its ugly head. As recently as last month (June 2011), an unemployed Pittsburgh man registered at a job fair. According to the The Quarter Roll, an internet magazine based in a suburb of Pittsburgh, registrants were told that if they were currently unemployed they could not apply with the company hosting the job fair, although they were free to visit the booths of other employers.