When I recently read an article by an employment lawyer, he made the statement that there is no such thing as equal opportunity employment. It is a fact that many companies have policies that discriminate against people on the basis of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. Such discrimination is wrong, and it is also illegal. According to this lawyer, a policy is legally enforceable as long as it does not violate the equal opportunity principle.
People are born equal. Their abilities are not in any way different from one another. Their abilities may be different by birth, but they are still equal. This same lawyer goes on to say that employers cannot use race, gender, or religion as part of the selection process for a particular job. Employers cannot choose which employees they want, according to their personal biases, because they are all equal in every way.
According to this lawyer, if an employer does choose employees based on their personal characteristics, then that is permissible. However, if a company chooses only some employees because of their personal traits and not for their skills, then that would be considered discriminatory. In other words, employers are allowed to promote diversity, but they cannot make employees who do not have the skills necessary for the job just because those employees do not fall within their personal traits. This is what the equal opportunity employment laws are intended to prevent.
The Buzzfeed employees’ written reviews, which can be found on the Buzzfeed website, are not the sole basis for Buzzfeed’s positive review of equal opportunity employment, nor are they used to hire employees. Instead, Buzzfeed uses the opinions of the applicants as a means of determining which employees would be the most successful in fulfilling Buzzfeed’s hiring needs. An example of this could be that a company puts together a survey and asks its users a series of questions about what they think of the employer and the company’s overall business practices. The answers may range from general comments such as “I love the open atmosphere” to more specific information, such as “I love that they are very flexible.”
Another potential way an employer could use this law in order to prove its innocence is to post a written policy prohibiting employees from creating statements that can be construed as discriminatory. If, for example, an employee writes a blog post about being a gay. The employer could then point out that the post is protected by the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as a form of discrimination. This statement could be interpreted to mean that an employee cannot be discriminated against solely based on sexual orientation, which is what many people believe to be true when it comes to Buzzfeed’s hiring practices.
A third potential way an employer could use this law in order to avoid being accused of discrimination is to post an official policy that clearly states that sexual harassment or other forms of sexual harassment will not be tolerated. This could be interpreted by an employer as meaning that the company does not support any type of sexual harassment or conduct of a sexual nature. However, there may be situations where an employer is caught in the middle of saying one thing and actually doing another, which can often get people into trouble when it comes to filing complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination. If you are ever in this situation, you should contact an attorney very quickly in order to ensure your rights are protected.