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Potential discriminiation in want ad?

By Chuck C. ·
My wife had found the following advertistment for a job in the Tampa, Florida area. The ad states:

Create, edit and publish standards, procedures, policies and technical and user documentation. Create and maintain format, style and standards fordocumentation. Manage and maintain documentation control procedures. Monitor and determine documentation needs within the company and for ASO clients. Perform other duties as assigned. Some college or equivalent work experience. Knowledge of documentation processes and procedures. Knowledge of business processes and procedures. Demonstrated ability with the spoken and written language. Ability to communicate ideas clearly and effectively. Proficient in Word and Excel. Familiarity with Oracle HRMS/Payroll Application. Ability to work and relate well with clients, management and staff. Ability to make decisions based on experience and policy. Must have a high level of oral and written communication skills. Professional business demeanor. Fluent in English. Adequate vision, speech, hearing and physical ability to perform essential job duties.

Notice the final sentance starting with 'Adequet'. Sounds aweful subjective to me, especially the physical ability to perform part. My wife qualifies for this ad as far as what they require but she does suffer from arthritis. Would this make her 'inadequet'? Sounds like this company is violating various anti-discrimination laws in the way they word the last sentence which needs to be left out of the ad to begin with.

What's your take on this? Does the TechRepublic staff have anything to ad?

Chuck C.

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Probably not

by McKayTech In reply to Potential discriminiation ...

This does not qualify as a legal opinion, but I don't think the ad, on the face of it, is discriminatory or indicates discriminatory intent. However, I do agree with you that the statement is unnecessary because an employer is obviously looking forsomeone who can do the job. My guess is that the statement crept into the ad based on a bad past experience with an applicant or employee who was *not* able to do the job.

If your wife's arthritis is not a disabling condition, I don't see why itwould be an issue at all. If it is a disabling condition, then she may be eligible for accommodation under ADA.

Either way, the ability to perform a job should not be a subjective assessment at all. If an employer is going to use physical performance measures, they must be objectively related to bona fide job requirements. For example, requiring 20/20 vision without the use of glasses would be difficult to defend in this context, but the ability to accurately read 8pt type would likely bevery defensible. In this case, "adequate" would be the ability to read 8pt type and "inadequate" would be the inability to do so.

I think you're jumping the gun on this and would encourage you and your wife to give this company the benefit of thedoubt. If you go into it assuming you'll be discriminated against, the negativity will usually work against you. If you go into it with a "can do" attitude, the positivity will work for you.

Best wishes with your wife's job search.


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No discrimination

by davidnesbit In reply to Probably not


Whilst the job ad is written by a person who appears to very dogmatic and detailed in the way they describe their "ideal candidate" there's no evidence of Discrimination.

It's the prerogative of an employer to write in such detail if they so choose..

Your wife's task should be to determine if she wants to work for such a Boss.. that's the unresolved issue here.

Good luck - David

PS - concur about arthritis, don't even raise the issue

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