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News Release: House Levels Playing Field for State's Unemployed

Feb 27, 2012

February 27, 2012

February 27, 2012
Jared Mason-Gere (503) 986-1907
House Levels Playing Field for State’s Unemployed 
Important Jobs Bills Continue to Pass
SALEM – Out of work Oregonians will no longer be discriminated against in job announcements as the Oregon House of Representatives continues to pass a series of bills to create jobs and address unemployment. On a 55-5 vote, the House passed SB 1548 which ensures that job applicants can’t be prohibited from pursuing job openings solely because they do not currently have a job.
“People just want a fair chance,” said Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-Portland), who carried the bill and had introduced a similar House Bill this session. “This bill will send a humble message to unemployed Oregonians that they are not forgotten; this bill will give people that fair chance that we all deserve.”
SB 1548 would prohibit an employer from including language in an advertisement for a job announcement indicating that someone who is currently unemployed should not apply or will not be considered for the position. The bill does nothing to prevent an employer’s right to check a job applicant’s qualifications including educational and work experience, professional and occupational licenses, certificates, registrations, permits and other credentials.
Rep. Betty Komp (D-Woodburn), bill co-sponsor, said that it doesn’t make sense for there to be additional hurdles to finding a job in this economy. “It’s hard enough out there to find work as it is. A lot of people are unemployed, through no fault of their own. This bill removes some roadblocks and helps people get back to work.”
Komp also congratulated the Oregon Senate for their work to pass the bill. “We all need to work together to pass good bills to stand up for middle class Oregonians and get people working,” she said.
Senator Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland) led the bill’s passage in the Senate. She applauded the cooperation between the two chambers as they pass common sense jobs bills.  “This bill will help level the playing field and allow hard-working Oregonians to compete based on their skills and experience.”
SB 1548 now goes to the Governor’s desk for his signature.