A job ad posted in a local newspaper for a position at a restaurant in Fergus, Ontario has ruffled quite a few feathers in the small town - and led to charges of discrimination in the restaurant's hiring practices.
Horizon's Family Restaurant posted an ad this week looking for a "reliable waitress." It also stated that you should "not apply with visible tattoos and face piercings." Since news of the ad broke, TV and radio stations have reported that many have taken issue with the ban and call it discriminatory. Others argue that a business should be able to put reasonable restrictions on the appearance of its employees.
We asked HR professional Michelle Strassburger to weigh in on the controversy:
"First of all, the fact that they have made the position gender specific when they advertised for a reliable waitress rather than serving person is clearly discriminatory."
"As for a ban on visible tattoos and piercings, it's not appropriate to include that in the job ad since it really couldn't be seen as a bona fide job requirement. Therefore, you'd find yourself justifiably accused of discrimination."
"A company can have a policy that establishes limitations on such things as visible tattoos and face piercings, even an acceptable size of earrings. But that policy should be communicated AFTER a job offer has been given, not in the job ad itself."
Want to get some additional insights into best practices when hiring employees? Clear Path's on demand webinar "Hiring Employees Effectively" is jam-packed with useful tips for business owners and managers. You can also get HRPA re-certification points.
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