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  1. #1

    Default Was This Listing Even Legal?

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

    I'm self employed, and I ran across a listing on a job board that said that they were black and specifically seeking black applicants. That no white person would be hired. The board did not take this down, surprisingly. Is this legal?

    If the tables were turned, this listing would be taken down and the person would probably wind up getting sued. Yet the other way around apparently was completely acceptable, on this job board anyways. Granted, I didn't have any difficulty finding work, nor am I even reliant on this board alone to find clients. But was this listing even legal given that it BLATANTLY was saying that only black people would be hired?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Was This Listing Even Legal?

    Quote Quoting Steve418
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    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Georgia

    I'm self employed, and I ran across a listing on a job board that said that they were black and specifically seeking black applicants. That no white person would be hired. The board did not take this down, surprisingly. Is this legal?
    A lot of people misunderstand how employment discrimination laws work and often think that they cover more than they actually do. Under federal law, it is illegal for a private employer with at least 15 employees or any government employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of race, color, national origin, citizenship, religion, sex (which now includes sexual orientation and sexual identity because of a recent Supreme Court ruling), age (if the employee is at least age 40), disability, or genetic test information. Note two important things about this. First, the law only bars discrimination against employees. If you are truly an independent contractor you are not an employee and your prospective clients are free to discriminate against you on the basis of your race or other characteristics and not violate federal law. Second, a private business must have at least 15 employees in order to be covered by federal law. So even if you are an employee, if that employer has fewer than 15 employees that employer may discriminate against you because of your race and not violate federal law.

    A number of states have their own laws on discrimination in employment and either cover additional characteristics (for example marital status or military status) or that apply to smaller employers than federal law does. Some states apply their law to all employers. But not Georgia. Georgia largely just mirrored federal law. As a result, in Georgia companies with fewer than 15 employees are not prohibited from discriminating against employees or applicants because of their race. And a company hiring an independent contractor is free to discriminate against that contractor based on race, too, because independent contractors are not covered by either federal or state employment discrimination laws.

    So the answer to your question is that the company might not be violating any law here. If the company has less than 15 employees or if the company was seeking to hire an independent contractor rather than employee then the company is not violating the law.

    Of course, in today's environment expressly saying that you discriminate on the basis of race even when it is legal to do so may subject a company to severe criticism and perhaps some kind of backlash like a boycott, so most firms won't come right out and say that they discriminate on the basis of race. The backlash would be more severe if the company were majority White and was discriminating against minorities, as you point out, because of the long history of racial discrimination against minorities in this country. But, particularly in the South, a firm that expressly states it won't hire White persons also takes the risk of a backlash by White customers against the firm, too. Either way, I wouldn't recommend any firm publicly state that it actually discriminates on the basis of race. The risk of damage to the company reputation is just too great.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Was This Listing Even Legal?

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    A lot of people misunderstand how employment discrimination laws work and often think that they cover more than they actually do. Under federal law, it is illegal for a private employer with at least 15 employees or any government employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of race, color, national origin, citizenship, religion, sex (which now includes sexual orientation and sexual identity because of a recent Supreme Court ruling), age (if the employee is at least age 40), disability, or genetic test information. Note two important things about this. First, the law only bars discrimination against employees. If you are truly an independent contractor you are not an employee and your prospective clients are free to discriminate against you on the basis of your race or other characteristics and not violate federal law. Second, a private business must have at least 15 employees in order to be covered by federal law. So even if you are an employee, if that employer has fewer than 15 employees that employer may discriminate against you because of your race and not violate federal law.

    A number of states have their own laws on discrimination in employment and either cover additional characteristics (for example marital status or military status) or that apply to smaller employers than federal law does. Some states apply their law to all employers. But not Georgia. Georgia largely just mirrored federal law. As a result, in Georgia companies with fewer than 15 employees are not prohibited from discriminating against employees or applicants because of their race. And a company hiring an independent contractor is free to discriminate against that contractor based on race, too, because independent contractors are not covered by either federal or state employment discrimination laws.

    So the answer to your question is that the company might not be violating any law here. If the company has less than 15 employees or if the company was seeking to hire an independent contractor rather than employee then the company is not violating the law.

    Of course, in today's environment expressly saying that you discriminate on the basis of race even when it is legal to do so may subject a company to severe criticism and perhaps some kind of backlash like a boycott, so most firms won't come right out and say that they discriminate on the basis of race. The backlash would be more severe if the company were majority White and was discriminating against minorities, as you point out, because of the long history of racial discrimination against minorities in this country. But, particularly in the South, a firm that expressly states it won't hire White persons also takes the risk of a backlash by White customers against the firm, too. Either way, I wouldn't recommend any firm publicly state that it actually discriminates on the basis of race. The risk of damage to the company reputation is just too great.
    Taxing Matters, couldn't it also depend on the type of business ? For example a black beauty salon advertising for a black cosmetologist?

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    Default Re: Was This Listing Even Legal?

    Quote Quoting Mercy&Grace
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    Taxing Matters, couldn't it also depend on the type of business ? For example a black beauty salon advertising for a black cosmetologist?
    If the cosmetologist is an employee and if the employer has at least 15 employees that will not fly. Federal law has an exception to the prohibition of illegal discrimination in employment where a particular characteristic is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) for most characteristics BUT NOT FOR RACE. The EEOC states that "The protected class of race is not included in the statutory exception and clearly cannot, under any circumstances, be considered a BFOQ for any job." Compliance Manual (CM) 625.1. Even if race could be a BFOQ, it is not likely your example would work. What is it about a cosmetologist that would require that the person be black? Simply working at a salon that caters to black customers would not be sufficient because an employee of another race can learn to style black hair, too. Thus, being black would not be a necessary requirement for the position.

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