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Job Seeker Exposes Troubling Questions In Application Process, Sparks Legal Concerns

In her TikTok post, Maureen shared an online form that asked intrusive questions
PUBLISHED MAR 12, 2024
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @fatgirlfab
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @fatgirlfab

Job hunting can be intimidating, but certain demands of employers can make it even more difficult. While smooth application processes, with no or minimal intrusion, encourage new applicants, the opposite often drives them away. This was seen in the case of a TikToker named McKenna Maureen (@fatgirlfab) who faced some discriminatory questions while applying for a job. She is raising awareness on the issue with her post helping her followers learn from it.

In her TikTok post, Maureen shared an online form that she claims she had to fill up as part of a job application. However, there were some troubling questions in the digital form which Maureen shared with her followers.

The first one asked the applicants how they identified themselves by generation. The question that appeared on Maureen’s screen showed that applicants had to choose from the options Gen Z, Millennial, Gen X, or Boomer. While this may not seem relevant to the application, the next question was outright racist. The totally unwanted question also had options that mentioned different ethnicities.

Image Source: TikTok | @fatgirlfab
Image Source: TikTok | @fatgirlfab

The last question that Maureen shared asked if the job seekers identified as ‘neurodivergent’. This is again discriminatory and inappropriate to ask especially to job seekers, she said.

Image Source: TikTok | @fatgirlfab
Image Source: TikTok | @fatgirlfab

All of these questions go against the rules of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission. The firm advises employers to not pose questions about race, religion, color, age, national origin, and more. This was pointed out by one of the viewers of the post who rightfully called the questions, “ILLEGAL”.

Image Source: TikTok | @fatgirfab
Image Source: TikTok | @fatgirfab

Meanwhile, some users suggested a way in which applicants could get back at the organization. One viewer said they would deliberately put in false information just to mess up the information collection of the firm. While another said that he would not disclose that he was a neurodivergent until the organization hired him.

Image Source: TikTok | @fatgirlfab
Image Source: TikTok | @fatgirlfab

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission oversees employers who practice diversity and inclusion. As an equal opportunity employer, organizations are required by law to make decisions of hiring people regardless of sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, and all the other characteristics that are protected by law.

However, under the provisions, employers with 100 or more employees are required to file an EEO-1 report with the commission detailing the race and gender information of their employees. While this is allowed, the exercise needs to be undertaken only after the employees have been hired and the demographic information needs to be disclosed voluntarily by the employees.

As per an SHRM report, the data is collected by the commission only to monitor if an organization is engaging in unlawful employment practices. People who come across such practices can report the organizations to the U.S. Labor Department. Complainants can reach out to the authorities through the online portal or call on reach out to them by calling 1-866-487-9243.

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