For example, see if you can recognize the three problems with the following ad: "Waiters/busboys. Looking for energetic, recent H.S. grad to work midnight shift at 24-hour restaurant. Great potential for growth. Apply in person or via mail to Ms. Willis, 100 Columbia Way. EOE."
Using age as job-selection criterion ("recent H.S. grad"). That violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. While age can sometimes be a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ), as in the case of airline pilots, no court would agree that age is a BFOQ for such a restaurant job.
Specifying gender. The terms "waiter" and "busboy" are not gender neutral and could be viewed as discriminatory. Instead, use "wait staff" and "buspersons."
Requiring a high school diploma. That might be seen as discriminatory because it could be argued that a diploma is not a BFOQ for this job.
Here is how a safer version would read:
"Restaurant night crew. 24-hour restaurant looking for wait staff and buspersons to work midnight shift. Great potential for growth. Apply in person or via mail to Ms. Willis, 100 Columbia Way. EOE."
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Best Buy settles age bias suit claiming it favors younger workers
- EEOC sues medical device firm for age, sex discrimination
- In down economy, it's more important than ever to track every résumé submission
- Co-worker complaints not enough to establish accommodation hardship