“While I was eating breakfast with my son at Big Boy on Washtenaw, I noticed a young black man come into the restaurant and politely inquire as to whether they were hiring. He was told, rudely, that they weren’t. Curious, when I paid my bill, I asked if they were hiring. I was, very politely, told they were, and asked to wait, while he went into the back to retrieve an application.”
Sarah Robichaud, a white woman from Michigan, posted this classic example of employment discrimination on Facebook. Then she asked others to share her post, which included #butracismisover, #boycottbigboy, and #bigboyonwashtenaw. Well, you can clearly see where she is going with this one.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants based on race, sex, color, religion or national origin. Sure, employers can reject walk-ins or unsolicited applicants. However, in situations like this one, one should have been more cognizant of the fact that no one truly ever knows who is watching or even listening nowadays.
Absolutely “anyone” has the capability to “go live” or post instances of discrimination, which could be harmful to not only the employer, but also the applicant(s) and employee(s) considering the fact that vital info may be missing. Since its employee was clueless, you guessed it; the Big Boy is now subject to unlawful discrimination claims.
To this end, employers must comply with federal, state and local nondiscrimination laws and should not use discriminatory criteria in the application process. Though we are not certain how Sarah’s call to action will turnout, obviously, employees at Big Boy need unlawful discrimination compliance training. To keep it “one hundred” with you, she just gave them a textbook example of what not to do to help shape its new training!