We've all heard that it's easier to get a job when you already have a job.
Today, for millions of unemployed Americans looking for jobs, not only is that true.. They believe they're being discriminated against in their job searches, *because* they're not working.
For nearly 20 years, Michael Westerholm rose through the ranks at postage equipment giant Pitney Bowes in Stamford, Connecticut-- eventually becoming director of business development.
But in January, his position was eliminated and his search for a new job began.
Now, after sending out dozens of resumes and going on half a dozen interviews, Westerholm is getting restless, “It kind of grates on you a little bit. You kind of think about it, you know, "what's my next step? Should I call them again? I called them six times. I don't want to be a pest."
But he's just one of 14 million Americans currently unemployed.. And is about to become one of the more than 6 million Americans who've been looking for work for six months or longer.
That half-year mark is a tipping point for getting hired, according to the national employment law project.
Executive Director of the National Employment Law Project Christine Owens said, "There’s an assumption that gets built up around being unemployed by employers or employment agencies really not wanting to take a chance on the unemployed."
In a new report, the organization says companies are less likely - and in some cases unwilling - to hire those out of work for 6 months or more. They found 150 listings including this one requiring applicants to be currently employed...a practice they consider to be discriminatory.
Owens said, "I think that companies feel with job growth as limited as it has been that the biases or the sort of convenience factor make it unlikely that employers will step up and say oh we were wrong and change their minds."
The issue has even hit Capitol Hill where legislation has been introduced that would make this practice illegal
Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson said, "This is un-American, it's unfair and it should not be legal in America to do that."
Michael Westerholm believes...employers who immediately dismiss unemployed candidates .. Are missing out.
Westerholm said, "I think that there's a lot of good talent out there and for somebody to pass somebody over just because they're in that position is short-sighted."
It’s a new reality facing the millions of Americans trying to get back to work.
That company mentioned in the report told cbs news that the employment requirement must be a typo.
They removed it just minutes later.