Discrimination In the Employment Interview Process

Date: November 15, 2011
Posted In: DLP Law
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Both Jennifer and her father Paul were interviewing for jobs on the same day. Jen was interviewing for a waitress job at an upscale restaurant and her father was interviewing for a job as an accountant in an accounting firm. Both were very well qualified and were optimistic that they would get the jobs that they were each individually seeking.

Jennifer\’s interview went very well until the very end of the interview when Jennifer rolled up her sleeves which revealed tattoos on both wrists and forearms. Jennifer was immediately advised that she was rejected for the job.

Paul\’s interview went well until he was asked about his health and Paul disclosed that he had a heart condition but it was well under control and only had to take medicine and watch his diet. As soon as the prospective employer heard about that, he told Paul that he would not be considered for the job.

ISSUE: Do Jen and Paul have any type of legal recourse?

ANSWER: In Jen\’s case, no. In Pennsylvania while Jen is being discriminated against because she has tattoos, Jen has no recourse against this employer because there is no law preventing the employer from rejecting employees with tattoos.

With regards to her father, Paul, this is a different case. Paul is being rejected because of a non-work related potential disability which would clearly not interfere with his ability to do desk work as an accountant. Paul has one hundred and eighty days to contact the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and should consult with an employment lawyer immediately as he was clearly discriminated against.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.