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Blatant Discrimination

There's no doubt about it.  It's pure, simple, utter and blatant discrimination.  There's no other way to describe it.  None.

The ad for the government agency read, Bachelors degree or Associates degree and 3 - 5 years of experience.  I have 5 years of experience and an Associates.  They mailed my resume, cover letter and application back to me.  When I contacted them they said I didn't have enough experience to qualify for the position.  I pointed out that I did have the experience they were looking for and asked why they they mailed everything back to me?  The HR person hung up.  Everyone who meets the qualifications of an advertised position needs to be given a chance for the position.

If it's not law that everyone who meets the qualifications of a position should be given a fair chance then it damn well should be.  This is bullshit.

Do you know what it's like to feel these feelings
Friday, January 16, 2004

Maybe your experience didn't qualify.

Did you gain your experience AFTER the Associates. If you gained it at the same time they probably woudn't count it.

Equally was your experience full time, and was it employment (as opposed to self-employment) in the correct field.

I doubt if its discrimination if its a government job. You probably have fallen foul of one of the prerequisites.

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 16, 2004

How do you know that they discriminated against you?  Did you put your race or ethnicity on the resume?

hoser
Friday, January 16, 2004

Life's not fair.  No one owes you a job.  Cope.

Alyosha`
Friday, January 16, 2004

Why, exactly, does that qualify as discrimination?

I have personally been involved with 3 cases of discrimination charges in hiring, promotion, and firing. I can honestly say that in each case, the person had qualification and/or performance issues.  But instead of listening to the feedback and taking it as a roadmap for self-improvement, they chose to throw about the discrimination charge.

So, whenever I hear "discrimination", in my head I'm thinking "incompetent, f*cking whiner".  It's a shame really, because there are people with legitimate discrimination claims.

Nick
Friday, January 16, 2004

I got a 2nd bachelors in CS while working full time as a software engineer.  More than one person has looked at the grad date for the 2nd degree and assumed I only have that much experience.


Friday, January 16, 2004

Counterpoint:

Most tech departments I have dealt with in my local market are picky elitist tending fanboy nests that regard anyone who doesn't work there as faceless scum rabble. I've actually had "senior tech" type dildos from this kind of environment taunt me when I was between jobs.

I can bat for myself in the work and the business world but I agree that companies that preemptorily reject applications that appear to fit stated requirements perfectly are rude and arrogant.

No wonder employees are exceptionally cynical. You're treated like a lump of shit when you apply at most companies and "employee" status is regarded as some friggin' plum that ennobles you from worthless human trash status to Godhood.

Arrogant people always deserve a good ass kicking and public humiliation. Unfortunately, the law takes a dim view of well deserved vigilante justice.

Original poster: if you are in the US and you are a member of a protected group (racial minority, handicapped, etc) then file a formal complaint. Otherwise, unfortunately there is no law against rudeness.

Bored Bystander
Friday, January 16, 2004

So if you're white, healthy and straight, you don't have a chance?

Alex.ro
Friday, January 16, 2004

What if you get a thousand resumes with the stated requirements?  Obviously the requirements may be overly broad, but what's done is done. You can't interview everyone.


Friday, January 16, 2004

>>Original poster: if you are in the US and you are a member of a protected group (racial minority, handicapped, etc) then file a formal complaint. Otherwise, unfortunately there is no law against rudeness.

Why file a complaint. Just because he has a race, handicap, etc. card to throw around?  I have read nothing it the OP's comments indicating that there was true discrimination.

Attitudes and actions like that just taint the pool for those who have legimate complaints.

Nick
Friday, January 16, 2004

Agree with Nick -- the original poster hasn't offered any evidence that he suffered illegal discrimination.  Assuming that that the OP is a racial minority, for example, that wouldn't be obvious from his resume (unless the OP has an identifiably "ethnic" name.)

It sounds to me like the agency received 500 resumes and made a quick rough cut.  Maybe the OP met the minimum qualifications or maybe not, but the agency probably had other candidates it thought were better qualified.  Too bad.  Unless there are other facts here that the OP hasn't shared with us, it would be a frivolous for him to file a complaint.

Robert Jacobson
Friday, January 16, 2004

Bored,

You might have forgotten, but it IS legal to not hire ethnic minorities. The treatment he was given is rude, but not illegal (since I doubt his resume said "Oh, by the way... I'm black!" or something). Telling him to file a complaint just because he's a minority and has a chance to make life miserable for someone in the legal dept. is not something I expected to hear from someone who tends to be fairly no-bullshit. Oh well.

  
Friday, January 16, 2004

<g> _technically_ it _is_ blatant discrimination not to hire someone based on their knowledge and work skill.

That is exactly what we do when we hire people, we disciminate between good employees and bad (based on our random ideas on how to tell them apart).

unfortunately for the OP its not illegal, and not avoidable.

FullNameRequired
Saturday, January 17, 2004

Not everyone who meets or exceeds the MINIMUM qualification should get a chance. If they have enough resumes from people who's qualification exceed yours, game over.

Did you see all the reusmes you are competing with? I never have.

doobius
Saturday, January 17, 2004

And what do you mean by given a fair chance. The resume's job is to get an interview. If there were 200 resumes submitted and they wanted to narrow it down to three for interviews, what evidence do you have that you should be in the top three? If you didn't get called for the interview, than you have to assume that your competitors were better.

"If it's not law that everyone who meets the qualifications of a position should be given a fair chance then it damn well should be."

A fair chance is having your resume read by the hiring manager,  a dweeb in HR, or an automated classification system.

Deal with it. Move on.

doobius
Saturday, January 17, 2004

The OP's story strikes me as odd.

If you receive a thousand resumés and some don't qualify for whatever unnamed reason, you don't send the ones that don't qualify back!  At least, I wouldn't, and I've never seen that either.

If the resumé was solicited (as in this case), then you sent back a short form letter.

In your case, it was perfectly legitimate to call to enquire about why you were rejected (unless the ad states no calls).  Sounds like perhaps you got angry at the apparent lack of consideration shown to your resumé.  I'm assuming that you told HR they sent it back and that they have a standard line in response. 

Depending on how memorable you were, you could try calling back and asking for specifics on where you fall short.  But I would vary your tactics from whatever you used last time.

If this was recently and you want another shot, maybe I would try calling again, but this time don't mention that you got your resume back in the mail. 

"Hi, I'm calling to follow up the status of my resume."
They probably don't have it on file.
"Oh?" Opportunity to fax it into them again.

Anyway, no one "owes" anyone a job, but I think it is reasonable to request an idea of which areas on your resumé fell short for the position so that you can do something to improve those areas.

Phibian
Saturday, January 17, 2004

HR will have been told not to give out details.

If you're sure you've got theqqulaiificatins for the job resubmit with a cover letter quoting the ad, and saying that possibly your experience wasn't clear on the resume.

However it is possible that in fact your application was accepted, but that they had other better candidates, and so are sending it back to you, and the HR person let on more than she should.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, January 17, 2004

"If it's not law that everyone who meets the qualifications of a position should be given a fair chance then it damn well should be.  This is bullshit"

I've said it before, and I will continue saying it... where, WHERE on God's green earth is it written that everything must be fair?

The #1 characteristic that will get you an interview these days is luck.  Are you lucky enough to be in the group of 10 resumes that are kept, when the other 990 are tossed?  If not, you haven't got a chance.

By the way - getting a negative response from an anonymous resume submittal is a small miracle of it's own... it may actually mean that someone took a few seconds to look at your resume, and didn't see the magic buzzword or numbers they were looking for.

Unless there are some crucial details that you've left out, all your complaints and a dollar will get you is a cup of coffee (a small coffee at that).

Greg Hurlman
Saturday, January 17, 2004

There are excellent comments here.

My agenda in recommending to the OP that he "file a complaint" was that the proper authority would shortcut the complaint if it were groundless, and the OP would learn a valuable life lesson.

If the complaint were NOT groundless, then, well, the law is the law - the same law that many forms of unfairness hide behind in our society. Sauce for the goose...

However, I am an advanced fatalist about HR practices. No matter how I may rant online, I realize as well as anyone else that the person with the gold makes the rules. The same loose "no entitlements" structure that allows businesses to reinvent themselves periodically also permits them to do almost any damned thing they wish in hiring. The same structure also allows unprofitable companies to sink into the muck.

Bored Bystander
Saturday, January 17, 2004

"I've said it before, and I will continue saying it... where, WHERE on God's green earth is it written that everything must be fair?"

I believe what you'll find is *actually* written is
"We apologize for any inconvenience"

Philo

Philo
Saturday, January 17, 2004

Bored, unfortunately there typically isn't a way to "shortcut" a discrimination complaint, even if it is groundless.  Once a complaint is filed, all sorts of legal machinery will get set in motion -- call out the lawyers, interview the HR people to see what happened, get the complainant's side of the story, and on and on.  Not a productive use of resources for what sounds like a simple case of sour grapes.

Robert Jacobson
Saturday, January 17, 2004

"Not a productive use of resources for what sounds like a simple case of sour grapes."

Maybe, maybe not.  It does seem really weird that they sent his resume back to him.  I've never heard of that practice before and, if I'm not mistaken, aren't employers required by law to keep resumes on file for some period of time?  That said, I highly doubt it's worth it to pursue this legally unless there's a lot more evidence that they're doing something blatantly illegal.

anon
Saturday, January 17, 2004

Like I do.

And I blame you
Saturday, January 17, 2004

There's no legal requirement that anyone hang onto resumes, but it's generally a smart practice.  However, this doesn't seem to me like a smoking gun -- more likely a clerk believed that his application was incomplete or didn't meet the miminum qualifications, and the employer had a practice of automatically returning such applications.

The OP hasn't really claimed that he suffered illegal discrimination -- that is, discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, disability, age or (depending on the state) sexual orientation.  It sounds to me that he's just using the term in the colloquial sense, that "they treated me unfairly," and wanted to vent.

Robert Jacobson
Saturday, January 17, 2004

you have two bigger problems than your imagined discrimination:

1. you only have an associate's degree
2. you are applying for a job at a government agency

best of luck in your future endeavors.

Crappy McAsswipe
Saturday, January 17, 2004

I'd better not get an Associates degree. Apprently it's much worse than having a high school diploma.

self educated
Sunday, January 18, 2004

This post is nearly non-sensical.  It doesn't even take a second of thought to come up 100 reasons why you might have been declined that have nothing to do with race.

This after the "IE is crap" thread.. I've had some bad luck on joel today..  Usually these forums are great :)

Tony
Sunday, January 18, 2004

It is a comon misbelief that it is illegal to refuse to hire someone based on race, nationality or gender. It is only illegal to refuse to hire a “class” of such people. By consistently declining *all*, or nearly all, members of a group, a company can effectively sidestep successful discrimination suits, since there is no such class to bring a suit. This is an area where it pays to read the small print in legislation.

You don’t need to be crass to incidentally expose your nationality, gender, ethnicity or even physical status through your name, schooling or professional associations. There’s a reason that CEO Fiorina’s parents named her “Carleton”, not “Carlotta”, and sent her to an Ivy League college.

On the basis that a hole is defined by its surrounding “non-hole”, discrimination against certain persons inevitably involves preferential treatment towards some other group e.g. young, tall, good-looking, athletic, extraverted Caucasion males. Or should that read: young, tall, good-looking, athletic, subservient Indian males?

It does depend on whose ox is being gored, doesn’t it?

anon
Sunday, January 18, 2004

"It is a comon misbelief that it is illegal to refuse to hire someone based on race, nationality or gender...." 

I can't speak to other countries, but that's definitely not an accurate representation of U.S. law.  Most lawsuits are brought by individuals based on (alleged) individual discrimination.  If I refuse to hire Joe because he's black, that's illegal.  On the other hand, if I refuse to hire Joe because he's not as qualified as another applicant, that's fine.

http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html

Robert Jacobson
Sunday, January 18, 2004

As long as Joe is the sole member of his protected group, the doubts that "there must have been some other reason for not hiring/promoting him" will remain. Short of a smoking gun (such as a blatant memo), it is practically impossible to prove discrimination under the current laws.

This is why it is HR's (self-imposed) task to make sure that enough members of a class aren't passed through to hiring managers that there could ever be de facto proof of discrimination.

Since the original poster didn't give many details (presumably to protect his/her identity), one can only guess that his complaint was that HR was acting in the role of gate-keeper by not allowing him to pass on to the technical evaluation phase.

This isn't, by the way, pure speculation. I've had this behavior admitted to by young and foolish HR managers, who believe that they are honestly implementing company policy.

anon
Monday, January 19, 2004

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