Good Business or Discrimination?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by imac/cheese, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    This is an off-shoot thread from Ahmadinejad: no homosexuals in Iran about discrimination in business practices:

    I see it more of a business practice to ensure your employees look "presentable" to the public. In my customers are a little uncomfortable with a cashier that has facial piercings and visable tattoos, I would rather hire someone with a more "clean cut" appearance so my customers have a better shopping experience in my store and return to make future purchases. This can only go so far though. You could argue that in some areas of the country with certain stores, your customers might feel more comfortable with white cashiers instead of black cashiers so you don't hire any black cashiers. That of course has crossed the line.

    Which brings up an excellent debate of where is the line.... What about places like American Eagle which has been accused of only hiring attractive employees because they believe it helps them sell more clothes. Can they get away with it if they call them cashiers/models? What about places like GNC Nutrition centers hiring overweight employees? I remember I was in a GNC store once looking at Atkins low carb bars and the cashier stated to me, "Those Atkins bars a great. Low carb is the way to go to lose weight." Of course she was about 50 lbs overweight.

    Where is the ethical line that justifies discrimination in business practices?
     
  2. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

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    #2
    This is exactly what I was thinking about when I was writing, but couldn't put my finger on it. The "line" gets awfully ambiguous when people consider certain "standards" vs. "discrimination", which is why I think judging people on their outside appearance (tattoos etc.) is a form of discrimination.
     
  3. imac/cheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I agree the line is very ambiguous. If we limit discrimination to the typical gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, and disabilities we still see discrimination all over industry. Casting for media (from movies to models to news casters) is very discriminating on age, gender, race, and disabilities. Hiring for fitness centers is often discriminating for age and disabilities. What about positions in a local church? If a Muslim wants to work as the secretary at a Christian church, do they have to consider her? Youthful stores do not want old ladies working on the floor. Ethnic restaurants often want to hire servers of the same ethnicity as the food.
     
  4. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #4
    I am against discrimination, although there are certainly times when specific types of individuals would not be appropriate. However, this is one of the areas where I side with the employer. They should be allowed to hire who they wish.

    With that being said, I would make those who do not follow fair hiring practices ineligible for any government work. Thsi would include federal, state and local governments. I would also consider other possible sanctions.

    I am actually more concerned with employers who victimize the employees they have. An example is many of the retail and fast food companies. Instead of providing one employee with a full-time position and benefits, they hire two part-time employees. This is just one example in a long list of predatory practices. Of course, many feel that just having a job, which was not shipped off-shore, should be reward enough.
     
  5. imac/cheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I feel that part time employment is a valuable and crucial part of our economy. There are a lot of people that are only looking for part time work such as students (both high school and college), mothers who want to spend more time with their kids, slackers, people who want to work evenings after their full time jobs, etc.

    I don't see this as predatory on the part of employers.
     
  6. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #6
    Please do not assume I would not account for the situations where part-time employees are warranted. I was speaking to employers who refuse to provide full-time employment, solely to avoid paying benefits. This is not opinion. It is well documented fact. It is generated considerable litigation and forced states to adopt new employment law to deal with it.
     
  7. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    #7
    I think one important distinction is that people very consciously choose to get tattoos and piercings. Race, sex, orientation, etc are entirely outside one's control. This is a half finished thought, but I guess my own position is that while hiring on the basis of characteristics not chosen by a potential employee is unfair discrimination, not hiring based on conscious choices someone has made is not.
     
  8. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I think you probably hit the nail on the head here but this raises another question, where you draw the line between personal choices and un-changeable characteristics? Which I suppose is in many ways a variant of the original question :eek:.

    Tatoes are obviously a choice get skulls up and down your arms I think you've just chosen not to work in daycare.

    But what if you're say massively over weight, it can be argued that is a choice a genetic disorder or a bit of both. Either way it says something about who you are, a possible lack of disipline, drive or even just caring so should a place be allowed not to hire you on these grounds?
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #9
    So not hiring someone because of the religion they choose to practice is permissible?

    I understand your point, but the question is, where do we draw the line? I've never seen an ugly or obese "barista" at Starbucks, does that mean they're discriminating? I've also never seen one of them spouting off religious dogma? Is that discrimination?

    Any employer who bases their decision to hire solely on a person's looks is incredibly stupid and that employer's business is probably going to fail because of that stupidity.
     
  10. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    #10
    I agree there are gray areas, just as with anything. As a fat religious person myself, I'd like to think that I have an equal opportunity for being hired despite my physique and beliefs. I don't remember consciously choosing to be fat, although I certainly do choose to practice my religion. I'm not sure I have a problem with someone discriminating based on religion, if said religious beliefs/practices would interfere with the job to be performed. Of course religion and the free exercise thereof have a certain special standing in our society and law too, which is different than tattoos and piercings. It's a tough question to be sure.
     
  11. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #11
    Religion itself? No. But as I said in the other thread, we aren't supposed to wear religious paraphernalia at work either. Aren't supposed to show tattoos, keep clean shaven, and supposed to wear business casual attire. It's just a professional courtesy.

    As said, you can't choose what you are, or in some cases what you look like, but you can choose what to wear.
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    I'll give you a call when Hooters files bankruptcy...
     
  13. imac/cheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I agree with mactastic. There are numerous places that hire for looks that are doing quite well.

    In the retail world, especially, it is not like these types of stores have really challenging jobs to fill.
     
  14. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #14
    well just 1-2 years ago the only hooters in vienna closed because it failed financially .. so it doesn't work everywhere
     
  15. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #15
    I used to work at Blockbuster and female employees had a less strict dress code than the male employees. Guess I should've organized a class action law suit...


    Hooters might not work everywhere, but using "pretty people" to sell things does. If you want a career in front of the camera (be it print ads or the nightly news) you need to be photogenic.


    Lethal
     
  16. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #16
    How about racists? Is it OK to discriminate against racists in the work place? Is it OK not to hire a person because he/she is racist/prejudice?

    What if their personal belief states a certain race is biologically superior. Does that quality for the denial of a job?

    Hell, what about smokers?
     
  17. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #17
    I've seen the bigger-boned working at Starbucks and the like. Personally I don't give a crap what they look like so long as they can make my coffee correctly.

    Just biological looks or attire as well? Part of my new responsibilities at my crappy job entails hiring seasonal staff. If they come in for their interview wearing jeans, their application goes in the garbage.
     
  18. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #18
    I know it's off-topic, but this seems rather arbitrary.
     
  19. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #19
    I don't think you have to hire crazy people. ;)
     
  20. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #20
    I think it is more about taking an interview seriously.

    If they don't have the time nor inclination to get dressed for an interview, what makes someone think that they will feel any different when working.

    Though it does depend on the place, a professional business where people work at maintaining a professional look is certainly different than McDonald's.

    If you go into a place where people spend money on clothes wearing jeans, s-canning your app might definitely work.
     
  21. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #21
    Yes, but if a person comes into an interview wearing jeans, a pressed shirt, and a jacket they're getting dressed for an interview. This is obviously better than the guy who shows up wearing stained khakis and a untucked polo.

    The first guy is, in my opinion, ready to work and willing to be expressive and yet detail oriented. The second guy is doing the bare minimum he thinks is required. I want the first guy wearing jeans.

    Again, this seems arbitrary.
     
  22. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #22
    And if a third guy comes in dressed in a suite, which is what office dress code is? It all just depends on the work place. I've never worn a suite, or even a jacket, to an interview but my field is very casual. If I showed up in a suite people would look at me funny.


    Lethal
     
  23. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #23
    Well maybe, but in order to get an interview they have to 1) come ask for an application, 2) bring it back, and 3) actually show up on time for said interview. That's two opportunities to see what we wear in the shop when we're working beforehand. If they can't be bothered to pay attention then I don't need them working for me. People are judged based on how they dress and how they present themselves, and that's a tough pill to swallow for some, all the PC silly talk about how it's just the inside that really matters aside.

    Even the various McDonalds around here have dress codes.
     

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