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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    7

    Default Interview Discrimination

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: California

    About a month ago, I had a civil but slightly tense conversation with an friendly-acquaintance Manager X at my local upscale national grocery store over what I considered over-exaggerated risk-prevention measures over Covid19. I shop there almost daily. I'm in my 50's, my degree is in molecular biology & I believe the virus is less threatening than what is portrayed in the news but remain empathetic to those who are scared. Manager X had the opposite opinion to mine and did get a bit irritated that I didn't agree with the narrative he believed especially when he mentioned his brother shared my opinion. He explained all store decisions came from HQ, which I understood. There was no anger from my side whatsoever & the conversation ended amicably although his feathers remained a bit ruffled.

    Last week I went in to the same grocery store for an interview for a seasonal, temp position to help ends meet during this lockdown. I was shown to public tables a few feet from the end of the check-out lines. When the hiring manager saw me, she exclaimed "Oh it's you. We're not interviewing you! You're the one who had an argument with manager X! No, no we're not even going to consider interviewing you" all within earshot of people checking out. Feeling stunned, I explained that it wasn't an argument but a conversation of diff opinions. "No, sorry" she said . "You're the one who wears the straw hat right?" Yes, I replied. "Yeah, nope, we're not doing this interview" and she walked away leaving me standing there totally shocked & utterly humiliated. As I walked out of the store behind her, she walked over to Manager X, whispered something to him and walked away. I then had a chance to speak with him. He agreed we did not argue but didn't offer to clear things up. He kept mentioning the position may not be available since it's temporary.

    The position only required a high school level education, it was seasonal, temporary, part-time & I was well qualified for the job.

    Is this legal & just extremely unprofessional? Or is it in any way discrimination? It sure felt discriminating. It's now uncomfortable to go shopping there too, as if I'm labeled with a scarlet letter or something. The one with the straw hat.

    This statement is included in the job posting "Z Market hires and promotes individuals solely based on qualifications for the position to be filled and business needs."

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,890

    Default Re: Interview Discrimination

    Quote Quoting Posey
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    Is this legal & just extremely unprofessional? Or is it in any way discrimination? It sure felt discriminating. Thanks!
    Nothing you described was illegal. A business can hire who they wish and while it may have been handled differently, it wasn't discrimination under the law.

    The reason they didn't want to interview you was not a reason that falls under discrimination in employment.

    If they didn't want to interview you because of age, disability, genetic information, national origin, pregnancy, race/color, religion, or sex then those classes are protected by the EEOC and many state laws.

    Not wanting to interview you because they didn't like your point of view on the COVID-19 may have meant that you would not follow the stores protocol.

    Next time, keep your opinions to yourself.

    https://www.eeoc.gov/discrimination-type

    Change the hat you wear.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    24,394

    Default Re: Interview Discrimination

    It is absolutely legal and under the circumstances, I'm not even certain I'd call it unprofessional.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2006
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    16,206

    Default Re: Interview Discrimination

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    It is absolutely legal and under the circumstances, I'm not even certain I'd call it unprofessional.
    I agree. They have protocols on COVID-19. Your discussion with the manager was clear evidence that you did not agree with their protocols and therefore there was a clear risk that you would not follow them.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2015
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    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
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    1,617

    Default Re: Interview Discrimination

    What did you do with your degree in molecule biology? was it a Bachelors? Phd? Are you, based on your out of date knowledge, to be accepted as an authority on Covid-19? Have you actually studied it or victim's or their pathology? You clearly aren't a doctor, or you would've said so, so why, on earth, would anyone listen to you? Honestly, everyone's an expert, enough so to feel confident to contradict those that have spent their lives studying viruses, epidemics, etc. I would think that, you with a degree in molecular biology, would also recognize the limitations of your knowledge and would be willing to accept the findings of of those whose knowledge encompasses this information.

    This is one of the foundations of the crumbling of society. Everyone's an expert! They read an "article" online that said what they wanted it to say and now they know better!
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  6. #6
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    May 2020
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    7

    Default Re: Interview Discrimination

    It was the definition of unprofessional. Reacting out of emotion is always seen that way. In order to be professional, one must have control over emotions, no matter the circumstances.

    And by your logic, what makes you an expert? You present yourself as an expert on how to question a narrative. Do you have knowledge to do that? Because you make a lot of assumptions in order to support your position. Nowhere in my question did I present myself as an expert. I had a conversation where I expressed my opinion. I am confident in my opinion as it is informed on many hours of study, not from reading one article. I am aware most of the public is very afraid, and that is on purpose. But we gain nothing by being lemmings. Most are not educated enough to question the narrative shown on the news. But it's in our best interest to learn how to do so.

    I do not agree my opinion gave "clear evidence" I would not follow the positions protocol. It was an assumption on the manager's part. But isn't that the root cause of discrimination? One person's assumption about another? I feel she should have gone forward with the interview, explained the protocol & the consequences if the protocol was not followed. The fact that she decided what kind of employee I would be based off a rumor & her own opinion is discriminatory.

    I understand what you are saying, but the fact I was not allowed to interview because she didn't like my point of view of which I had never expressed to her, to me is discriminatory. I do understand it is not legally, but theoretically I feel it is. If I were qualified for the job as a pregnant-out-of-wedlock single mother & the hiring manager didn't like my lifestyle so she assumed I couldn't do the job, that would be discrimination, right? She reacted out of her own feelings & I lost out on a job opportunity as a result. It was my understanding the laws on discrimination are in place to stop such abuse of power. After all, if protocol was not followed the consequence could be immediate termination so the risk was minimal.

    I do not agree my opinion gave "clear evidence" I would not follow the positions protocol. It was an assumption on the manager's part. But isn't that the root cause of discrimination? One person's assumption about another? I feel she should have gone forward with the interview, explained the protocol & the consequences if the protocol was not followed. The fact that she decided what kind of employee I would be based off a rumor & her own opinion is discriminatory.

    I understand what you are saying, but the fact I was not allowed to interview because she didn't like my point of view of which I had never expressed to her, to me is discriminatory. I do understand it is not legally, but theoretically I feel it is.

    If I were qualified for the job as a pregnant-out-of-wedlock single mother & the hiring manager didn't like my lifestyle so she assumed I couldn't do the job, that would be discrimination, right? She reacted out of her own feelings & I lost out on a job opportunity as a result. It was my understanding the laws on discrimination are in place to stop such abuse of power. After all, if protocol was not followed the consequence could be immediate termination so the risk was minimal.

    I do not agree my opinion gave "clear evidence" I would not follow the positions protocol. It was an assumption on the manager's part. But isn't that the root cause of discrimination? One person's assumption about another? I feel she should have gone forward with the interview, explained the protocol & the consequences if the protocol was not followed. The fact that she decided what kind of employee I would be based off a rumor & her own opinion is discriminatory.

    I understand what you are saying, but the fact I was not allowed to interview because she didn't like my point of view of which I had never expressed to her, to me is discriminatory. I do understand it is not legally, but theoretically I feel it is.

    If I were qualified for the job as a pregnant-out-of-wedlock single mother & the hiring manager didn't like my lifestyle so she assumed I couldn't do the job, that would be discrimination, right? She reacted out of her own feelings & I lost out on a job opportunity as a result. It was my understanding the laws on discrimination are in place to stop such abuse of power. After all, if protocol was not followed the consequence could be immediate termination so the risk was minimal.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2014
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    7,960

    Default Re: Interview Discrimination

    Quote Quoting Posey
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    I do not agree my opinion gave "clear evidence" I would not follow the positions protocol. It was an assumption on the manager's part. But isn't that the root cause of discrimination? One person's assumption about another? I feel she should have gone forward with the interview, explained the protocol & the consequences if the protocol was not followed. The fact that she decided what kind of employee I would be based off a rumor & her own opinion is discriminatory.
    It is discriminatory. Discrimination simply means using some criteria or basis for choosing one over another. So, for example, choosing an applicant with a college degree over someone without a college degree is discrimination in favor of people with college degrees. But that discrimination is perfectly legal. Indeed, every act of hiring an employee requires some act of discrimination in that the hiring person is deciding who gets hired based on certain criteria. However most discrimination, like preferring applicants with college degrees, is perfectly legal. Whether it is logical for the job is another matter, but the law doesn't require that the criteria for hiring be logical. The issue is whether it was illegal discrimination. All the law does is specify a very limited list of reasons that an employer cannot use for the hiring decision. Under federal law, which applies to employers with at least 15 employees, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an applicant or employee on the basis of the employee's race, color, national origin, citizenship, age (if the employee/applicant is at least age 40), religion, sex, disability, or genetic test information. Under California law it is illegal for the employer to discriminate based on the employee's race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status. You were not refused an interview because of any of those listed characteristics. As a result, the discrimination by the employer was legal. Whether it was professional is simply a matter of opinion about which people will have differing views. But it's not something you can take any legal action over.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    7

    Default Re: Interview Discrimination

    (I don't think I know how to answer directly to comments as they've all ended up on one post & therefore seem incoherent; below is my opinion)

    I do not agree my opinion gave "clear evidence" I would not follow the positions protocol. It was an assumption on the manager's part. But isn't that the root cause of discrimination? One person's assumption about another? I feel she should have gone forward with the interview, explained the protocol & the consequences if the protocol was not followed. The fact that she decided what kind of employee I would be based off a rumor & her own opinion is discriminatory.

    I understand what you are saying, but the fact I was not allowed to interview because she didn't like my point of view of which I had never expressed to her, to me is discriminatory. I do understand it is not legally, but theoretically I feel it is.

    If I were qualified for the job as a pregnant-out-of-wedlock single mother & the hiring manager didn't like my lifestyle so she assumed I couldn't do the job, that would be discrimination, right? She reacted out of her own feelings & I lost out on a job opportunity as a result. It was my understanding the laws on discrimination are in place to stop such abuse of power. After all, if protocol was not followed the consequence could be immediate termination so the risk was minimal.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2014
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    7,960

    Default Re: Interview Discrimination

    Quote Quoting Posey
    View Post

    If I were qualified for the job as a pregnant-out-of-wedlock single mother & the hiring manager didn't like my lifestyle so she assumed I couldn't do the job, that would be discrimination, right?
    That depends on what you mean when you say the hiring manager didn't like your "lifestyle". Under California law it is illegal to discriminate based on marital status, so refusing to hire you because you were an "unwed mother" would be illegal discrimination because it is based on marital status. But if the problem was that you were a party animal and the hiring manger didn't like the partying lifestyle, discriminating against you because of that would be legal because party life style is not on the list of characteristics protected by federal or California law. Look at the lists of criteria in my prior post. If the reason is something other than the things listed there the discrimination is legal.

    Quote Quoting Posey
    View Post
    She reacted out of her own feelings & I lost out on a job opportunity as a result. It was my understanding the laws on discrimination are in place to stop such abuse of power. After all, if protocol was not followed the consequence could be immediate termination so the risk was minimal.
    She is allowed to act out of her own feelings as long as it's not based on one of the listed characteristics in federal and California law. So if she didn't like that you wore mismatched socks, or that you supported the Denver Broncos rather than the Los Angeles Chargers she would be free to refuse to interview you or hire you because of those feelings. It would be stupid, sure, but it wouldn't be illegal.

  10. #10
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    May 2020
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Interview Discrimination

    I understand your statement. Clearly, Covid19-virulence-Opinion discrimination is not going to be passed into law anytime soon, but I'm a single parent with a child at home & I've been deny a chance at a job that fits my situation's narrow criteria for work based on an assumption. This isn't just a matter of opposing opinions. This has serious consequences for me. But I understand it is legal. Thank you for your time.

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