Earlier today there was a hearing on Bill 19-486, the Unemployed Anti-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2011. As the title indicates, it is about adding “unemployment status” to the list of protected classes in DC’s human rights law, so that employers can’t look at a long gap in an applicant’s resume and decide there is something inherently wrong with the applicant and not hire him or her.
I did not watch the hearing, but I did glean snippets via Twitter.*
The snippet that made me pay any attention at all to the hearing is this, courtesy of Jim who actually did watch the hearing: Chairman Brown finds it insulting to say that DC residents are not getting jobs because they aren’t qualified.
That may be. Though “we” all recognize this problem, that there is a gap between the jobs that exist and the skill level of the people looking. This is why there are efforts made to bring different types of industry to the city. This is (part of) why there is so much attention paid to school reform and school improvement. This is why attempts are made every year to make the Summer Youth Employment Program more meaningful. Can you fairly say “you’re insulting us by implying XX” and then turn around and say “XX”?
But more to the point… that’s not the point! The point isn’t DC residence. It’s employment status.
So here’s an idea. Let’s stick to the topic at hand and not assume inflammatory intent. ‘Kay?
*I realize that this is not a good way to make an informed analysis of the proceedings, but it is much more fun.