By Will Temby
A couple of years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled a race and sex discrimination case against an Ohio temporary agency.
The EEOC alleged that the agency used code words to identify the race, color, and sex of candidates it placed with employers.
For example, “hockey player” equaled white male, “small hands” equaled female, “basketball player” equaled African-American men, and “chocolate cupcake” equaled young African American women.
The temporary agency, according to the EEOC, would attach note cards containing the coded phrases to job applications submitted to employers.
The temporary agency paid $650,000 to a nationwide class of 11,000 people.
This story illustrates the biggest myth businesses have about the use of temporary employees.
Contrary to common belief, employers are often jointly responsible with temporary agencies for acts of discrimination.
In dealing with temporary agencies, businesses should be careful not to perpetuate discrimination fostered by the agency.
There are plenty of other myths about temporary or contract employees, but we’ll get to those in future blogs.
About the Author
Will has enjoyed a 20-year career in leadership positions in the hospitality and travel industry throughout the U.S. with the Hyatt, Sheraton, Hilton, Renaissance and Steamboat Ski and Resort corporations. Will received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. From 2000-2007, he served as President and CEO of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. He also served as Vice President-Special Projects for the University of Colorado Foundation from 2007 to 2009. Will is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Homeland Defense Foundation and former member of the United States Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. He is married to Nan, has five wonderful children, and enjoys coaching, traveling, hiking, golfing and skiing.