Question I sometimes get when applying for jobs

I apply for jobs mostly on-line, and places like Best-Buy ask questions about getting government assistance, such as if I get food stamps or not.

Why do they want to know this information? What’s it have to do with whether or not someone is qualified for a job?

They get tax breaks and such for hiring people on government assistance in order to get people off of such assistance.

OK, that makes sense. Thanks.

Yes, there have been programs to help fund hiring of people currently on assistance. I don’t know what is in effect at this time. However, there may also be other reasons to ask about government assistance. A person on the dole may have a habituation to living on the dole. They may enjoy the free time and be more apt to have a marginal injury to get back on the dole. Some employers are only willing to hire winners who are already employed successfully.

… spoken (posted) like someone who’s never felt the terror of having their UI benefits run out. :rolleyes:

IMO rolleyes aren’t necessary.

**Al Bundy **speaks the truth, unleasant though it may be. Many employers consider that people who take benefits are likely to be less motivated or desirable workers. And they like their workers to be desperately motivated to stay employed no matter how awful the wages & working conditions.

This being GQ, I won’t offer my thoughts on the desirability or not of this state of affairs. But I do assert it exists today in this country.

I’m desperately motivated to stay employed at my current job precisely because I was on the dole so long my benefits had run out.

Can anyone provide links/cites re: Travis’s assertion that there are tax breaks in place? My Google-fu is failing me now.

Cite? This is GQ… please don’t just pontificate.

Here’s info on tax breaks for hiring people receiving food stamps, SSI, TANF, etc.
There were also incentives as part of last year’s job bill.

Now I’m trying to remember if that’s something I’ve ever been asked while applying. I’ve worked a retail job or three in my day, but I don’t recall ever answering that question. Perhaps it’s a more recent thing, since the big economic problems started? I suppose if incentives were part of that bill that would account for more employers asking …

It started within the last five years or so, I believe.

I have been unemployed for almost 10 months (new job starts in a couple weeks!) and I have seen the question on many applications but all the ones I have seen explain that they want to know for tax/hiring benefit reasons.

It depends if your companies were taking part in the program. The last job I was at had us fill it out as part of the hiring process, not application process.

Best wishes,

As other have said, there’s some kind of incentive for hiring people on assistance - further to that, I’ve seen some job ads here in the UK that specify only those on assistance should apply. Kind of frustrating for someone who’s not eligible for said assistance in the first place.

This request is not unreasonable, but at the same time, I wonder how one might cite such a claim.

I would have phrased it as, “…at least some employers think…” because as a matter of inference, it’s not difficult to imagine, and then the discussion could either proceed or get into what percentage of employers hold the views.

Well, if you are more likely to be hired if you are on food stamps, then you should “say” you are on food stamps even if you are not on food stamps.

At my alma mater in the US, there were on-campus wage jobs that were “reserved”, at least in an informal, wink-wink manner, for work-study students (students with a Federal work/study grant). I believe that the idea was that if an admitted student shows up with a Work-Study Grant from the Federal Government, then the school pretty much is required to give them a campus job. If all of the real productive campus jobs are filled, then the school has to make up a job and pay minimum wage for make-work such as a extra reception desk or extra floor buffing. At one point, I even saw a flyer that said something similar to:

  1. Do you have “skills”?
  2. Do you want to “tasks”?
  3. Do you have a work-study grant?
  4. Call 555-4444 and ask for Dr. Jones!
  1. Lie on job application
  2. ???
  3. Profit!

I was asked this question as far back as 1986.

Companies also get tax breaks for hiring ex-felons.

Whether or not you disclose this is a personal matter. If you put, “no,” they won’t check. If you put “yes,” they will check because they want the tax break, so if you lie you’ll be found out.

Huh? This is GQ. If all you are doing is speculating that some employers hold those views, that’s just opinion, and might I suggest perhaps not even an informed one.

There are pretty strict laws in the US about what information employers may ask of prospective employees, and an entire agency of the federal government devoted to enforcing those laws. Most reputable employers are well aware of those issues.

Are there mom and pop business that ignore those rules? I’m sure there are. Are there hiring managers at reputable companies who have personal opinions about the suitability of certain types of employees? Of course. Are there companies that as a matter of policy won’t hire people who are getting food stamps or disability? I highly doubt it, and I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable to ask for a cite for what seems to be an off-the-top-of-my-head opinion.

LSLGuy and AlBundy are attempting to inject their personal political views into a pretty straightforward question and answer.

Many people think that people who feel that way are lazy, unmotivated thinkers.