On March 12, 2012, the Council of the District of Columbia unanimously passed the Unemployed Anti-Discrimination Act of 2012 http://dcclims1.dccouncil.us/lims/legislation.aspx?LegNo=B19-0486&Description=%22UNEMPLOYED+ANTI-DISCRIMINATION+AMENDMENT+ACT+OF+2011%22.&ID=26794.
New Jersey was last year the first state to pass a law against the discrimination of unemployed applicants http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/PL11/40_.PDF. Legislations in other states and a federal legislation are pending. The New Jersey law outlaws i.e. discriminatory ads but does not outlaw i.e. offering lower wages to unemployed workers with similar qualifications as someone who is employed. It is expected that legislations in other states that are currently pending, will follow suit.
Proponents of the laws argue that discrimination of the unemployed is not only an ethical concern but also a diversity concern since minorities tend to be disproportionately affected by unemployment in the first place and that therefore discrimination of the unemployed would exponentially affect minorities.
Opponents of the laws argue that the wordings of the law are so broad that it may lead to litigation, if the unemployed are for example, offered lower wages than applicants with same qualifications who are currently working.