Sexual and gender discrimination is still astoundingly common in today’s workforce. It’s something that we have to be aware of every single day, and employers need to be acutely aware of the risks involved with improper compliance. In one case, a grey area arose when a woman was fired from a current position based on a past experience. Read this woman’s experience, and decide whether omitting prior experience is grounds for firing, or whether this constitutes sexual discrimination.
Sexual Discrimination or Omission?
A woman was working as a criminal intelligence analyst for the Department of Public Safety. This is a government position that deals with a lot of sensitive information, and requires background checks and security clearances to work. In this case, the woman did not disclose on her resume that she had in the past worked at Hooters. The woman, the company claims, discussed the experience with her interviewer and was later fired for omitting the information on her resume.
Questions of Impropriety
The woman claims that this firing was a clear case of sexual discrimination—she was fired because she had a job at this specific restaurant. The company’s position is that by omitting information on her resume, she falsified the document.
There are two questions at play here. The first is, do you have to reveal every detail in your resume? Some analysts feel that if the past experience isn’t relevant to the position at hand, it doesn’t need to be listed. The second is, if the woman had discussed the position during the interview, and if the company had performed a background check (they admitted they had), why was she hired in the first place?
In the end, it was left to the courts to decide. The woman filed a lawsuit against the department accusing gender discrimination. In addition to the firing, she alleges that she was passed over for promotions that were given to less qualified men in the department.
The exact results of the suit are unclear, but it presents an interesting gray area in HR practices. What do you think? Was this a case of gender discrimination or was it a case of falsification of a resume?
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