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What is Considered as a Discriminatory Hiring Practice?

What is Considered as a Discriminatory Hiring Practice?

Discriminatory Hiring Practices… Explained

Discriminatory hiring practices come in all shapes and sizes. Before labor laws were enacted, discrimination in hiring practices was rampant. It still exists; it is just more subtle now than it used to be. At the turn of the century, it was common to see help wanted signs in windows of businesses. Beneath the words, “Help Wanted,” were often written, “No Irish Need Apply.”  Irish workers in the early, industrialized United States were one of the most discriminated groups in American History. The discrimination was open and bold. When labor laws were developed in the United States, it was still many years before it was illegal to discriminate based on race. The 1960’s and 1970’s saw the advent of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Commission was created in response to racial rioting and protests because of the unfair treatment of African Americans.

Discrimination in Today’s World

Discriminatory Hiring Practices

Discriminatory Hiring Practices

Discriminatory hiring practices continue in modern America, they are just less obvious. In order for a hiring practice to be considered discriminatory, one must prove that it was intended to reduce or eliminate a particular population from employment by that company.

In the 1970’s in Georgia, the state police agency effectively eliminated women from being hired as patrol officers. They succeeded by requiring that anyone applying to work for them had to be able to stand, bare and flat-footed, and then reach up with one hand and touch the ceiling. Very few women are tall enough to touch a ceiling without jumping or standing on something.  This is only one example of a discriminatory hiring practice.

Some businesses and business owners can become quite creative when it comes to eliminating certain groups from their employment pool. Because of this, the EEOC created affirmative action. This required that each business have a diverse population. Often, the companies still manage to control their populations by using coded terminology. One company was charged in 2010 for requiring that all of their employees observed the same religious practices. They prayed before meetings and effectively eliminated any employee that did not fit their profile. To ensure that they only obtained the employees that would fit their profile, they worked with a local psychiatrist to design a psychological testing procedure for all potential employees.  The test was designed to eliminate any employee who had personal views that were not the same as the CEO of the company. They attempted to conceal their discriminatory hiring practices under the guise of maintaining their “corporate culture.”

Discriminatory hiring practices are constantly being investigated by the EEOC. In recent years, the failing economy has seen a rise in the creation of more illegal hiring practices. Higher unemployment and fewer job options have created an environment ripe for the abuses that have not been frequent in years.

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