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Unit 5 Legal Ingraction

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Unit 5 Assignment

Legal Infraction During Job Interview

During a job interview, it is illegal to ask a question that relates to an applicant's race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, or disability. In some states, inquiries about a candidate's sexual orientation are illegal. It’s wise to only ask questions that relate to how well the individual can handle the position and if they have the skill set to add value to the company. The potential legal problems could possibly include violations of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 (Arthur, 2012). Voss Lighting Company of Lincoln, Nebraska, advertised a position opening for an Operations Supervisor on a church website. According to www.vosslighting.com, their business mission is to provide premier lighting with courteous, dependable and knowledgeable service for the benefit of both our valued customers and our various vendors. Their biblical mission is to "sell" our lighting products so that we may "tell" everyone we can about God’s soul-saving, life-transforming gospel message as Jesus instructed believers to do. What led to the legal infraction for the company? During the second interview, applicant, Edward Wolfe, was asked to” identify every church he had attended over the last few years, when and where he had been 'saved', and the circumstances that led up to it” (www.dailykos.com). In no way, shape or form does this type of questioning have anything to do with lighting. Advertising the job opening on a religious website was legal, but basing their hiring decision on whether a person is ‘saved’ was where they crossed the line. An EEOC complaint was filed against Voss; however, they stated the applicant that was selected had more lighting experience (Harper, 2012). What could the company have done differently to prevent this outcome? Voss Lighting Company could have expressed their religious views without going into Wolfe’s religious background. In this unit’s reading on questions to avoid during an interview, Arthur doesn’t list any questions because this topic should not come up in an interview unless it’s a bone fide occupational qualification. What was the lesson learned from this experience? For Wolfe, the lesson learned should be to do more research into a company’s background before the interview and Voss Lighting should now understand the consequences behind asking these types of questions during an interview. How did this situation hurt the company? According to the company’s website, Voss serves "a broad range of customers from business and industry to schools and governmental agencies." I don’t believe this will have much of an effect on Voss’ bottom line profits. In my opinion, they’d have a bigger mess on their hands if they turned the applicant away because he was a Christian. EEOC, Title VII is part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a person’s religion. While Voss Lighting Company feels they have every right to hire only those applicants who are Christian, by law, they still cannot ask these type of questions legally. Many recruiters/hiring managers have to understand that it’s not what you ask an applicant, but how you ask that could determine whether or not the company could face legal ramifications. References
Arthur, D. (2012). Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting and Orienting New Employees. 5th Edition. New York, NY. AMACOM

Retrieved October 22, 2012, from http://www.vosslighting.com/storefrontB2BWEB/showpage/missionstatement.html

Harper, D (2012). Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Claiming Voss Lighting Requires Workers to be Christian. Retrieved October 22, 2012, from http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=14&articleid=20120614_14_A1_Beinga699339…...

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