Council passes employment protection bill despite mayor's reservations

Job seekers meet with recruiters during a job

Job seekers meet with recruiters during a job fair (Credit: Job seekers meet with recruiters during a job fair. (Getty Images))

The City Council approved a bill Wednesday that prevents New Yorkers with gaps in their resume from falling into pitfalls in their employment search.

The unemployment discrimination bill, which passed with a 44-4 vote, is the first in the country that bans companies from basing their hiring decisions solely on the applicant being unemployed.

The measure also makes it unlawful for employers to mandate current employment as a job requirement.

The city's unemployment rate is 9.4%, so job hunters need all the help they can get, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

"Discrimination is wrong in all its forms, and we cannot -- and will not -- allow New Yorkers who are qualified and ready to work have the door of opportunity slammed in their faces," she said in a statement.

Mayor Michael Bloom-berg, however, said Wednesday he will veto the measure, which he doesn't support because it opens small businesses up to lawsuits. The bill has enough votes to override a veto.

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