While I was out for my early
morning exercise I passed a sign in the window of a local restaurant. The
posting read. “… Restaurant has an immediate need for a HOSTESS.” Potential candidates were directed to apply
inside the location. I passed the flyer twice to make certain I had read it
correctly. The same notice was in more than one window.
Yesterday I provided training
to a group of managers about the value of diversity and prevention of
harassment in the workplace. I explained how Title
based on race, color, religion, gender and national origin.
Discrimination issues rooted
in potential harassment can be complex; they are full of grey areas. The
prohibition of basic employment actions based on federally protected classes is
much easier to understand. An employer can’t make a hiring or firing decision
based on an individual’s race, color, religion, gender or national origin. I
frequently tell clients, “You won’t see an ad today that says, ‘Wanted; Pretty,
White Female.” The ad in the restaurant window did not specify “pretty” or
Maybe the restaurant really
wants a hunky, male of mixed racial heritage at the door. I’m not naive enough
to think that employers don’t hire based on stereotypes or preconceived notions
about characteristics of the best candidates. This restaurant will probably
find the hostess they are looking for. If they post the proper notice, without
an indication of gender, seeking a “
or “Host/Hostess” they may still hire the female hostess. They may also
interview some men and hire a host. Whoever they hire the posting would not be
a violation of Title
As an HR professional I never
want to represent the function that says no. No, you can’t hire; no, you can’t
fire. That’s not the kind of strategic direction that builds a business. Hiring
based on stereotypes won’t build an organization either. Think of all of the
different perspectives and backgrounds that will be missed.
This is not a case of too
much political correctness. This is basic employment practice and compliance.
At least the job posting did not include the tag line on the bottom, “An equal
opportunity employer.” These are ubiquitous and should be unnecessary.
Have your read any good job