EEOC says it’s legal to ‘encourage’ minorities to apply; but don’t say you’re ‘seeking’ them — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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EEOC says it’s legal to ‘encourage’ minorities to apply; but don’t say you’re ‘seeking’ them

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

If you tack the phrase “women and minorities are encouraged to apply” onto the end of a help-wanted ad, could that be construed as race or sex discrimination? In a carefully worded opinion letter, the EEOC has said “no.”

But don’t go so far as saying that you’re “seeking” employees from certain age, sex or racial groups. Says the EEOC: “‘Seeking’ a particular kind of applicant denotes a preference for that group; it is not just ‘encouraging’ people to submit applications. Thus, seeking persons on a protected basis, such as race or gender, would violate EEOC-enforced laws.”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

J.L. Ford June 26, 2017 at 10:53 am

I see that based on your previous comments that you are neither a woman, nor a minority, meaning you have privilege on your side so you should be able to find a job no problem. It is not a form of discrimination, however a way to even the playing field. Minorities and women have do not have the same opportunities as white males, so please let us have a chance to be great.



Barry September 1, 2013 at 6:50 am

Basically this article just defined what they really mean by “women and minorities are encouraged to apply.” It’s a word game, and they really are saying they have a preference for women and minorities. And I also find it offensive that they are comparing women to minorities. If you are a true EEO, you would say something like “Everyone encouraged to apply.”


Paul Finley September 13, 2016 at 5:35 pm

I agree with this writer. Women and minorities are riding the crest of a wave for too long. This is blatant form of discrimination. Something needs to be done – but how?


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