But the flaws in the bill go beyond its costs. Specifically, Section 374(a) of Obama's AJA (page 130) would it make it unlawful for a company looking to add workers to "fail or refuse to consider for employment, or fail or refuse to hire, an individual as an employee because of the individual's status as unemployed." According to the Diversity Executive newsletter:
Employers who do not follow the proposed law would face monetary civil remedies. The provision would give those claiming discrimination a right to sue and violators would face fines of up to $1,000 per day, plus attorney fees and other costs.The effect, says Michael Saltsman in the Wall Street Journal "would make employment status a new protected class--like age, race or sex--when it comes to hiring." As American Thinker's K.E. Campbell observes:
While such a law would be a boon for the labor bar and the culture of victimhood, it would have opposite its intended effect on hiring, assuming you buy into the premise that the actual goal of the bill is to increase employment. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R - TX), who has been an outspoken critic of the bill and the unemployed-as-protected class proposal in particular, thinks the Act should be titled "The Plaintiffs' Lawyers Full Employment Bill."Count me with Mr. Saltsman:
The logic that lowering employers' litigation risks will lead to greater employment escapes liberals. And overlooked in such a meddling provision, however well intended, is that every newly hired currently employed person will leave behind a vacant position in need of filling.
This country needs another protected class like it needs another Solyndra. But this bill isn't about increasing employment, self-sufficiency, and prosperity. Like this President, it is about "classes" and class warfare, special interest groups, and identity politics.
The proposed legislation to address it would create a tremendous new liability for employers while doing little to lower the unemployment rate. The only employment it would spur is in law firms eager to represent applicants convinced they were denied a job because they didn't already have one.