NYC official: Unemployed face bias in job hunt

October 24, 2011 4:50:05 AM PDT
The national unemployment rate is still more than 9.1 percent and some of the people who make up that statistic say it is the reason their resumes get put on the bottom of the pile.

Some employers don't want to hire workers off the street, they want to hire them away from other jobs.

Maria Ortiz spent two years pounding the pavement, doing everything she could to do to get a job.

"It was very stressful. I thought I got the job. The woman said she liked me. And she said I would get the job but as soon as she checked my credit. I didn't get the job," said Ortiz.

She thought she had a banking position in the bag but one thing stood in her way.

"She told me that they couldn't hire me because of my credit report," Ortiz said. "It was very disappointing."

It's a problem Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer says so many New Yorkers are facing.

He found dozens of postings for New York City jobs that read "must be currently employed" and "must pass a credit check."

So Stringer is calling on city and state lawmakers to pass legislation banning employers from discriminating against job seekers because they are unemployed or on the basis of their credit history.

"What we're starting to see from placement agencies is that they need you to have a job in order to get a job. They need you to have clean credit in order for you to walk into their offices this is a practice that is so outrageous," says Stringer.

Right now New York City unemployment is close to 9 percent and almost 30 percent have been out of work for more than a year.

Maria Ortiz is back on the job and has cleaned up her credit because she says finally someone gave her a chance.