The Olympian recently reported on Desire Video’s Craigslist post seeking applicants for all positions. Desire Video’s owner proposed an adult cabaret to Olympia’s Community Planning and Development officials last year, and it appears his proposal was approved. According to the Craigslist post, no experience is necessary for dancers or wait
staff, but experience is preferred for DJs and security personnel. They will even provide training if necessary for qualified applicants. Applicants have until the end of January to apply in person at Desire Video, which is not a lot of time, considering the Craigslist post was not placed until January 28th. Desire Video plans to open around the mid-February.
Job postings are appearing virtually everywhere now. From Craigslist, to bulletin boards, to newspapers, to Twitter, employers have more options than ever in their attempts to find the best qualified individuals for their business. Regardless of the medium, however, employers still need to take care with how they advertise open positions. For instance, employers should try to avoid words like “young” and “sexy,” or other words that could indicate a bias for or against protected groups, such as women and those over 40.
Not only can those words create a potential appearance of bias, it can also unintentionally discourage or prevent qualified individuals from applying. Many employers avoid using descriptive terms beyond “enthusiastic” and “experienced,” preferring to supply descriptions of the position’s responsibilities. This method provides the needed information for applicants, avoids potential discriminatory language, and can lead to hiring the most qualified person.
In the case of Desire Video, the Craigslist post seeks motivated individuals with outstanding customer service, and in some cases experience, but even that requirement may be waived for individuals with the “right attitude.” The post does not mention age, race, or gender, and focuses on the requirement of “motivation” and a desire to be “part of the hottest spot” in the area. Presumably, the fact that the job post is seeking exotic dancers and security for a strip club, the majority of applicants will likely already fit the unspoken guidelines, but the job posting allows anyone interested in applying to apply and try to make it through the hiring process.
Hiring & Discrimination
Hiring is included as a part of employment in each of the federal and state laws prohibiting employment discrimination. This means that applicants are protected from discriminatory practices, particularly if they never get hired. Proving discriminatory hiring practices can be slightly more complicated than other forms of employment discrimination. In many cases, rejected applicants may not know who was hired, what the actual hiring criteria, or the qualifications of the hired individual. But that does not mean that hiring discrimination does not occur, on occasion. And a clearly discriminatory job posting can make for a strong case.
If you believe you have been discriminated against in the hiring process, an experienced Washington employment law attorney may be able to help.