. Although requiring photographs is not uncommon abroad, under Federal EEOC Law and California DFEH regulations, it is illegal for a job advertisement/application to outright require and/or suggest that an applicant submit his/her photograph as part of a job application.
. Several years ago, it became illegal to ask applicants the year of high school graduation as a roundabout way of committing age discrimination. This is because most individuals graduate high school at 18, so if you subtract the current year by 18, you will know the age of the applicant.
. Requiring a photograph is prohibited due to the fact that it is a direct way to improperly exclude applicants from even obtaining an interview. A photograph would show an individual’s age, weight, sex, gender identity, possible ethnic style of dress, disability, or other protected factors. This is a blatantly illegal manner of improperly screening candidates.
. None of the above examples are advertisements for modeling. A persons physical appearance does not make someone more skilled, educated, experienced and/or competent. Therefore, these advertisements have absolutely no logical reason to be requesting a photograph other than to illegally discriminate.
. When the applicant is never even called in for an interview, the applicant has no way of determining whether the employer did not find them to be a suitable candidate properly for their lack of experience or skills or whether it was based improperly upon their race, gender, age, etc.
. To potential applicants, this manner of job advertising can deter an otherwise qualified applicant from applying. The applicant may assume that s/he may not be the certain “type” a shallow employer is hoping will apply.
. The sad fact is that in this economy some desperate applicants will submit to this illegal job ad requirement. Martin Luther King stated, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Let’s hope that one day employers will live up to this dream and the law.
© Reina Ashley Canale, Esq., My Advice Blog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Reina Ashley Canale, Esq. with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.