What does it mean to be an equal opportunity employer? “Equal employment opportunity is an employment practice where employers do not engage in employment activities that are prohibited by law.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, created by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the subsequent Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 insures that State and local governments are no longer exempt from Title VII.
Part of equal employment opportunity insures that notice of the position or the job announcement is broadly and openly announced. “It is also illegal for an employer to recruit new employees in a way that discriminates against them because of their race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
“For example, an employer’s reliance on word-of-mouth recruitment by its mostly Hispanic work force may violate the law if the result is that almost all new hires are Hispanic.”
Applied another way, an employer’s reliance on word-of-mouth recruitment by its mostly “good-old-boy-and-girl (GOBAG) network may violate the law is that almost all new hires are GOBAGs.
A line item at the Monday night Borough Council meeting preliminary agenda shows “Consider approval to hire Theresa O’Donnell as an Administrative Assistant at a rate of $20.35/hr. consistent with the current Non-Uniform Contract and contingent upon successful completion of all pre – and post-employment testing.”
Was the $50,000 position advertised? (The estimated annualized compensation calculated at 20.35 an hour x 37 1/2 hours a week x 52 weeks plus an estimated 30% for employment benefits.)
While the prospective hire presents significant educational credentials, others who may possess the skill sets of an administrative assistant may have claim to have not been provided equal employment opportunity because the position may not have been widely and publicly announced the way this Turkey Hill Dairy administrative assistant has, for instance.
In addition to attracting superior competencies, these might be three more scenarios that would suggest that a progressive municipal government ethically should post or publicly advertise any job opening:
- If the governmental entity is required to publicly advertise job openings.
- If the governmental entity is unionized and your contract with your union requires you to post and/or publicly advertise job openings.
- If the governmental entity’s policy manual strictly requires that all job openings be posted and/or publicly advertised.
- If the governmental entity’s policies and practices consider veterans preference in hiring.