President Obama has been traveling across the nation over the past few weeks as he works to drudge up support for his proposed job creation bill. The president has compelled voters to urge their elected leaders to pass the $450 billion package, but he faces a deeply divided House of Representatives, as even Democrats have warned the president they would not pass it in its entirety.
The president's job creation bill consists of roughly $250 billion in extended tax cuts, and an additional $200 million to be allocated toward infrastructure projects and local and state governments. The latter portion will be used to spur the creation of construction jobs
, and will help to prevent teacher layoffs, Obama argues.
Nevertheless, some economists assert some measures in the president's proposal to inject life into the nation's beleaguered labor economy are not conducive to growth. Rather, they contend provisions aimed at helping the long-term unemployed find work are misguided.
The Atlantic reports Obama's job bill contains an anti-discrimination mandate. The Obama Administration contends the stipulation will effectively prevent employers from victimizing unemployed job seekers, as it would preclude them from considering an applicant's current employment status as a consideration in the hiring process.
However, a number of experts assert it would do little to benefit the long-term unemployed
, and could make it even more difficult for them for them to secure work.
First, analysts contend there is little evidence of employers discriminating against workers because they are currently unemployed. The executive director of labor law policy U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Michael J. Eastman, recently argued against the provision, asserting "we do not see a need for it."
Moreover, critics affirm the mandate could lead to frivolous lawsuits against businesses, according to a report from The New York Times. Labor law specialist Lawrence Z. Lorber contended the proposal merely "opens another avenue of employment litigation and nuisance lawsuits."
Other experts agree with Lorber's assertion. Companies considering hiring new workers, they say, could choose to delay such a move. If a firm receives hundreds of applications for a single position and chooses to hire someone who is more qualified – but employed at the time – over an unemployed person, it could lead to lawsuits.
Nevertheless, with 14 million Americans among the ranks of the nation's unemployed, the Obama Administration affirmed it is compelled to act on their behalf. Critics argue this particular mandate, however, represents a faulty logic that will ultimately add to the labor market's woes.