The issue of providing protection for the unemployed from discrimination in hiring has been discussed by my colleagues on this blog previously. It continues to be discussed both in California and Washington D.C., and last week the U.S. Senate held a hearing on the barriers the jobless face in trying to become re-employed. Christine Owens from the National Employment Law Center testified that the principal reason for our current high unemployment is a lack of jobs. A real revelation, right? She also stated that while there is no data on how often it occurs, the next most important factor in continuing unemployment is discrimination against a person’s status as unemployed when employers make hiring decisions. Support for legislation making it illegal to discriminate in this manner was voiced by additional speakers and members of the committee. Several pieces of legislation have been introduced in Congress over the past six months, culminating in President Obama submitting to Congress in September a bill prohibiting discriminating in hiring based on a person’s status as unemployed. The bill also allows aggrieved individuals to file suit , provides for damages of up to $1,000 each day of a violation, and allows for recovery of attorney’s fees and costs.