|The “discriminatory” advert in question [click for larger view]|
For an employer, the only thing worse than shallow profits might be accusations of discrimination. Those tend to lead to some mighty bad PR, itself leading to failing customers, which in turn leads to even fewer profits. For this reason, employers are always careful to word their ads especially carefully as to avoid any potential outcries of favoritism or intolerance from would-be persecuted groups. Unfortunately, you can never make sure that there won’t be some people who could cry “foul!” … such as when an employer took out an advert asking for, amongst other things, “reliable and hard-working” people (pictured above), and was quickly informed that this was discriminatory.
You know, against unreliable and lazy people.
When it comes to hiring staff, there are plenty of legal pitfalls employers need to watch out for these days.
So recruitment agency boss Nicole Mamo was especially careful to ensure her advert for hospital workers did not offend on grounds of race, age or sexual orientation.
However, she hadn't reckoned on discriminating against a wholly different section of the community - the completely useless.
When she ran the ad past a job centre, she was told she couldn't ask for 'reliable' and 'hard-working' applicants because it could be offensive to unreliable people.
'In my 15 years in recruitment I haven't heard anything so ridiculous,' Mrs Mamo said yesterday.
'If the matter wasn't so serious I would be laughing out loud.
'Unfortunately it's extremely alarming. I need people who are hardworking and reliable - and I am pleased to discriminate in that way. If they're not then I really can't use them. The reputation of my business is on the line.
'Even the woman at the jobcentre agreed it was ridiculous but explained it was policy because they could get sued for being dicriminatory against unreliable people.
'She told me they'd had lots of problems with people taking them to court for adverts stating something like "would suit school leaver".'
“[T]he completely useless” … am I the only one who LOLd at that one? I think it pretty much captures the tone and attitude that ought to be directed at such silly legal pussyfooting perfectly. If you’re an unreliable slob, go to McDonald’s or something and let those who are willing to do their part for society take your place. Discrimination only applies towards groups whose defining trait (the one being discriminated against) is a personal characteristic (such as skin color or sexual identity) or choice (such as religion), not to those who are simply too lazy to do anything worthwhile.
Updated: (8:32 PM) – Added a little footnote.