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Discrimination: Social media trails can get you hired?

Amazon Lawsuit: Managers Scoured Job Candidates’ Social Media for Race and Gender Info

It doesn’t matter what your motivation is, illegal discrimination is illegal.


Source: Inc.
By Suzanne Lucas, aka The EvilHRLady

Lisa McCarrick filed a lawsuit against Amazon on Monday, alleging two significant problems. The first: she’s paid less than her male coworkers. The second: her manager told her to “scour” job candidate’s social media to determine race and gender/ethnicity and then fired her when she complained.

McCarrick claims that her managers wanted her to search out race and gender to increase diversity at Amazon…[but] It doesn’t matter that your goal is to increase your minority or female hires. You cannot discriminate based on race or gender for almost all positions.


Nick’s take

This article gave me a headache. Amazon HR instructs managers to use job applicants’ social media footprints to make sure they hire more women and minorities. Is that discrimination or reverse discrimination or just plain illegal any way you slice it? And if a manager refuses to scour a job candidate’s social media for race and gender info, the manager gets fired? You can’t make this stuff up!

What’s your take?

Have your social media tracks ever helped you get a job? Or cost you a job? What will HR and employers think of next to discriminate — and to get their companies sued?




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  1. Of course, another form of discrimination that has been discussed here, is age discrimination.

    Looking at the candidates social media photos HR or HM can see how old the applicant is.

    Actually, a few months ago I decided to stop allowing employers to waste my time.

    My current resume includes the date of my diploma. (Post high school diploma, not high diploma).

    That should prevent them wasting my time calling me in for an interview, only to not offer me a position due to my age.

    • Borne, I’ve encountered in your face ageism more times than I’d care to admit. Although I’m currently employed (work both a full-time and a part-time job), I’ve been searching discreetly as my current day job employer appears to be a sinking ship. I recently applied for a job on Indeed (ok, a waste, I agree). I’m 62, and a late bloomer; I graduated from college late in life (age 30). I listed my degree on my resume, but omitted the graduation date. I also listed my jobs for the past 16 years, then had a column listing past experience (omitting dates) that was applicable to the job I applied for. The HR guy sent me an email asking for my college graduation date, and the dates of my past jobs listed. I refused and told him I wasn’t divulging that info due to being disqualified for age. I was of course GHOSTED! HR has all sorts of techniques in their bags of tricks to deduct that a candidate is an older worker. Man, I don’t know what I’d do if I lost my day job. I’d be shaking my death rattle. These employers today just reek of a very inhuman and debase nature!!

      • What I gathered so far is that we might have a better chance with a small business, as they are more likely to just want someone who can do the job.

        I think we can probably forget about corporations, that seem to want to appeal to the millennials.

        An individual affiliated with our local employment centres was recently mentioning some companies that he had made connections with at a recent job fair. I had to inform him that I’m convinced that I experienced age discrimination at one of the companies he mentioned, when interviewing there a few years ago, under the guise of ‘cultural fit. Lo and behold, I found an article that stated that the average age of employees at that company is 33 years old. I think it would be interesting to have a clipboard and go to each employer at a job fair and ask them just two questions, i.e. the average age of employees and the last time they hired someone 50+.

        Antonio, I think it might be better to put the dates on your resume, as it is actually a way that we can screen out employers who are ageist. Instead of wasting our time going to an interview, i.e. bus fare etc., only to be rejected due to ‘cultural fit’.

        • Borne, I think you’re spot on right about smaller employers. For folks like us, that’s probably the only sweet spot left. I’d add mid-size employers, to an extent as well. Seems like the job growth is with the smaller guys. If they’re toxic, they’re hellholes beyond imagination, but if they have some semblance of order, they want someone who can do the job, who will show up everyday, and who will show up on time. There’s less chance to “donut dunk” and roll over and hide out like the big players. And like you said, those guys have an animus for older workers, and suck up the young folks. But you know all this. I’ve noticed that the smaller guys tend to still have some respect for the guy pounding the pavement and handing out resumes in person.

          • Regarding mid-size employers, I think we might have a chance if they are still small enough to not have HR.

        • Borne, Btw, I saw an ad the other day from a local company that recycles wood pallets. They have 6 locations throughout the Midwest and a fleet of brand new semi tractors and van trailers. 100 employees or so total. Their ad said, in caps, “WE ENCOURAGE OLDER WORKERS TO APPLY”. I’m debating to send a letter to their corporate commending them for this.

          • All other types of diversity are encouraged, why not employees of diverse ages.

            Most employers, especially corporations, have hardly any employees the wrong side of 40.

            • Tell me about it. If you’re 50+ (and I hear now it’s dropped to 45+) you have a bullseye on your back.

        • @Borne: Many would argue with you about making a point of including dates, but I agree with you. The practical matter is that you don’t want to waste time with jerks. Of course, if you have the stomach and money for it, I’m all for legal action.

      • Print out a couple of copies of the e-mail, and also archive a few duplicates of the digital version so that the header data is retained. If – heaven forbid – you should lose your day job, and you keep an eye on your state’s applicable statute of limitations, methinks you might have grounds for a discrimination lawsuit against the HR guy’s employer, which could potentially result in a financial settlement. I can think of absolutely no lawful reason why a college graduation date would be required from a candidate at the initial screening stage. Is a bachelor’s degree awarded by Acme University in 1982 somehow quantifiably less or more valuable to an employer than the same degree awarded in 2002? If verification of a degree award is required for some reason, the date of graduation can be supplied later as part of a pre-employment background check once a written offer letter has been extended.

        In theory, dates of past employment could potentially be relevant at an early stage, because they might reveal other nondiscriminatory trend information. For example, while job-hopping has apparently lost much of its stigma in recent years, some employers might still consider it to be a red flag. However, you’re well within your rights to withhold those dates.

        Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney. This should not be construed as legal advice. Consult a qualified professional if you believe you might have grounds for a lawsuit.

  2. god I hate facebook. I change my name and spell it backwards on facebook. they have a phony email on me and i post a picture of a guitar instead of my private life is MINE. all MINE

  3. I am untrackable.

  4. This shocking voicemail was left by a recruiter after the recruiter had been snooping around the applicant’s Facebook page.

    • Borne, this video is par for the course today. I think it’s part of an older woman being tasteless and jealous of, and lashing out at, a pretty younger woman (I’m 62 and single, and have a pretty and fit 33 year old fiancee of Armenian/Turkish decent, so I’m no stranger to petty behavior from older women when it comes to this). This HR woman appears to lack some modesty and discretion from her FB too. Lesson here, especially for younger folks, watch what you post on your FB account. Same can be said for their email addresses. For 4 years, I’ve supplemented my day job income by teaching as an adjunct instructor in a 9 month welding program in the evening at a community college. I knew a young man who was graduating and looking for an entry-level welding job. His email address referenced a detailed description of his private parts. He was counseled to change it. He refused. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well with several HR women. I don’t think he ever found a welding job.

  5. Illegal? HA!!! Pro-female, anti-male discrimination is rampant–almost the rule rather than the exception. It’s not merely tacitly tolerated but actively promoted and encouraged, if not formally mandated. Companies set up Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for women (and other privileged groups) and those are used to actively discriminate in favor of each other.

    At major trucking/intermodal company J.B. Hunt, the women’s ERG is called GROW–Growing and Retaining Outstanding Women. They are very active and vocal and clearly use their protected status to bring more women into the company and ensure frequent and rapid promotions follow. One woman VP at J.B. Hunt participated in a panel discussion on on so-called Diversity & Inclusion at the World Women Summit 2019 (an annual event for the World Women Foundation). They advertised the event as follows: “The World Women Summit 2019 will focus on #RedefiningRules by women, for women, and of women…” Get that? “By women, for women, and of women.” Funny notion of “diversity and inclusion” that they have. More like they’re trying to solidify the hegemony of the Gynocracy.

    In addition to womens ERGs, women are actively encouraged to discriminate in favor of each other and to form and join women-exclusive networking groups. One such high-level group is called AWESOME (sqee!!! we’re all just so amazingly awesome!) The full name is Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education. If I were a woman, there would be probably 20-30 women-exclusive networking organizations and online groups focusing on Transporation or Logistics that I could join. Some of these women only organziations have job posting features on their websites (password protected). And there are plenty of other women’s groups on LinkedIn that are not industry specific. One gem with over 10,000 members is “Women Empowering Women” which says this in the “about this group” section: “This group is dedicated to the empowerment of women personally and professionally. Discussions about women’s issues, women’s studies, women’s rights, and the empowerment of the divine feminine.” The “divine feminine?” And people scoff when I observe that feminism is a religion and that feminists subscribe to theories of female supremacism.

    A search on “women in” in LinkedIn Groups pulls almost 32,000 results. That’s an awful lot networking going on, and if anyone believes they’re not succesffully using it to bypass the hiring processes, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Networking for women, strict HR compliance for men.

    This article in Forbes was an outright cry for women to discriminate in favor of each other (it was shared and liked on LinkedIn by all sorts of women executives and even recruiters).

    Inc Magazine publishes stuff like this:

    Harvard Business Review published an article titled “Co-Opt the Old Boys’s Club: Make it Work For Women” that may have played a role in the proliferation of the women-exclusive networking groups mentioned, and there’s no shortage of other sexist, pro-female articles in HBR.

    “Recruiting” firms like to boast about their strategies to hire more women:

    Diversity & Inclusion is by its very nature discriminatory. If you are setting goals you have thrown objectivity out the window. To consciously promote one group is to discriminate against others. When companies boast about how they plan to hire and promote more of X, Y, or Z, I take them at their word. When they boast about how they have done so (“but he have farther to go”) I believe that they will continue their efforts to remake the workplace. When will it end? Is it really about “equality” or about total power?

    • Bill Freto, I live in Kansas. The male prisoner rate in our state correctional facilities rose 14% in 2019. The female prisoner rate In our state correctional facilities rose 60% in 2019. Wonder what that’s all about?

      • @Anatonio Zoli: I googled it and found what I think you are referring to, but I think that’s outside the subject of the original post. Please feel free to contact me at first.last@gmail if you wish to discuss Kansas further.


  6. Amazon is big enough, rich enough, and has been around long to know better than to, as a matter of policy, do this. Where were their in-house counsel (attorneys)? Even worse is retaliating when a manager tries to bring it to upper management’s attention that this isn’t the best way to attract and hire a more diverse staff.

  7. Years ago, I applied for a skilled trades position at a General Motors assembly plant and at the meeting with the other prospective applicants, we were told that GM had to hire minorities due to Federal hiring guidelines to keep the contracts. If we were not female or a minority our application would not be considered, regardless of qualifications. If the minority or female could not pass the entrance exam, they would be sent to the local vocational school, paid for by GM, to learn how to pass the exam and helped to pass the exam. So, not being a minority or female, we got up and left. I knew several others in skilled trades who said the union’s hands were tied on this issue. They told me that several of the recently hired minorities were dangerous to work with. They were there just to fill a quota.

    • Amen, Mike! Years ago, I knew a man who was a Journeyman Tool & Diemaker for a tooling company. They were a union shop, and had a very reputable apprenticeship program, that included a lengthy waiting list of candidates. The company had government contracts, and like what you’ve said, quota requirements. Many qualified men were turned down for the apprenticeship program. After the government did a local demographic study, they determined this company needed to bring on about a dozen women and minorities for the apprenticeship program. After a lengthy and exhaustive search, they brought on said candidates. The first day of work, several didn’t even show up. By days end, over 1/2 of the remaining apprentices had walked off the job. By the end of the work week, all stopped showing up. My late father, a Journeyman Machinist and WWII era man, had a saying “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”.

      • Borne, what an article! I just sent it to some trusted friends and associates. In this last “Black Death” recession, I spent 14 months on the unemployment line (save for a part-time job I landed). Experienced ageism blatantly waved in my face by both young and old hiring managers in a hellish job search and with the few interviews I was able to get. I finally (and with extreme reservation) took a job with a small “woman owned” company, and the older woman owner boldly fancied herself as a “progressive”. I was continually reminded in my face that it was a “woman owned” company. This place was a toxic cesspool. Among my many duties, was purchasing welding consumables, welding gases, and other supplies. I quickly found out that the vendors had receivables, not just past the standard net 30 terms, I mean 2-10 YEARS past due! The place was literally cut off by most every supplier in my city, and it was C.O.D. from the few who’d even give them the time of day. Her attorney husband stalled and kept collections at bay. Then came the bouncing of the employees paychecks, all while the woman owner was going on month long trips to the Caribbean, India, and China. Then there were the most egregious OSHA and EPA violations I’d ever seen. The rub was forcing male employees to attend rah-rah meetings on company time for the likes of Claire McCaskill, Take Back The Night, Planned Parenthood, Battered Women’s Shelters, and Breast Cancer Awareness. The daily clown show and incessant drama of the largely female workforce she surrounded herself with was mind numbing. After one year, I was able to exit this yack-yack bin. With all due respect to MaryBeth, and some other common sense female posters I’ve seen on here, I’ll RUN like a scalded cat from any “woman owned employer”. That goes the same for dealing with “women owned” companies. Currently, my employer makes me deal with a “woman owned” vendor, and I have to play nice, but the unreliability and screw ups unique to these companies, just reinforces what I’m saying, and the free market will determine their inevitable fates.