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Unemployed seek protection against job bias

By Sam Hananel

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Oct. 9 2011 2:50 a.m. MDT

Selena Forte, 55, poses for a photo at her home in Cleveland, Ohio, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. After two years on the unemployment rolls, Forte thought she had the right experience for a temporary job opening at FedEx. But she says a job recruiter told her the company wouldn't consider her because she had been out of work too long.

Tony Dejak, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Out of work Americans could get help from a provision in President Barack Obama's jobs bill which would ban companies with 15 or more employees from refusing to consider hiring someone who is unemployed.

The measure also applies to employment agencies and would prohibit want ads that disqualify applicants just because they are unemployed.

But the president's bill faces a troubled path in Congress. Republicans strongly oppose its plans for tax increases on the wealthy and other spending provisions.

The effort to protect the unemployed has drawn praise from workers' rights advocates. Business groups complain it will just stir up needless litigation by frustrated job applicants.

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