Last week’s post about blatantly discriminatory job ads in New Zealand elicited a number of comments from folks who could not believe that such ads were actually published. To remind you, these were some of the ads:
* Young and vibrant waiting staff wanted
* We’re looking for vibrant salespeople with a young, passionate energy
* If you’re a motivated, talented young marketer
* We’re on the hunt for young, fit and competent carpenters for immediate starts
* Young person willing to learn – mechanic technician
To those of our readers who were surprised — even shocked — at such ads, other readers provided examples from their own practices or corporate experiences which are truly “surprising.”
Louise Walker, a Solicitor in Glasgow, UK:
“Helpful article Richard. If an individual has the skills and qualifications required to carry out a job, then their age should not matter. Employers would be well advised to take care when placing adverts to ensure they are not exposing themselves to a claim for discrimination.”
Ed Skinner, an HR expert in the Cincinnati area:
“Amazing … in this day and age! Might as well open the checkbook for a LARGE settlement. Human Resources Professionals in the United States are less likely to commit that error!”
David Gabor, a Boston attorney:
“Ed, I wish that were true. I recently had a case in which the interview notes contained comments such as “sexy but married….too bad.” “Not my type. Not blond.” “Too skinny” “Pregnant … no way!!!” “Hot and single”
Guess which one got the job? Shortly thereafter she sued for sex harassment. Small wonder.
Worse … Head of HR was in the interviews with the Director!”
“Wow. Bet those two were dropped into HR from some other discipline. Couldn’t have been trained in HR ! I hope. Makes one wonder doesn’t it.”
“The training received in HR is superior. Sadly, performance does not always follow. Human nature often rears its ugly head.”
Lisa York Bowman, an attorney in Atlanta:
“I recently had a case where the interview notes written on the back of the application were similar to those described by David, despite the superior training that took place within the company.”
Dana Pearl, an EEO/HR consultant in Chicago:
“A client of mine had to fire their plant manager who had attended two of my training programs over a few years, and one of another contractor, because the guy accepted an employee’s offer to ‘service’ him in his car after work. She turned around and filed a sexual harassment charge. The manager said it was mutually consensual.
Stupid is as stupid does, and no amount of training is going to make someone behave.
I tell my clients that I can ‘lead the horses to water, but can’t make them drink.’ It’s up to the individuals to make the choice to be professional — or not.”