Termination discrimination claims are devastatingly hard to prove. Even if you have the facts on your side, your entire personal life is likely to be on display for the very organization that you believe has just wronged you. You’ll also probably have to sit in the hurt for months and months before your case is finally resolved. If there’s a verdict in your favor, the organization will likely appeal it or might even declare bankruptcy, making justice ever elusive through the court system.
Over the past few years, an increasing number of states (17 to date) and localities have banned employers from asking candidates about their salary histories. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has even held that salary history can never be “a factor other than sex” under the Equal Pay Act — which is currently making headlines given that the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently expressed a desire to overturn that decision.
It’s like we’re in the upside-down right now. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is currently letting employers ask questions that would normally bring an employer to EEOC jail, like, “What’s your temperature?” or “Have you been diagnosed with a disease?” Employers can even withdraw a job offer just because a candidate has COVID-19. It’s so weird! And for recruiters, it just might get weirder.
Andrea is a recruiter. She hired both Jamal and Vanessa as marketing managers. Jamal and Vanessa started at about the same time and have basically the same level of experience. At their previous companies, Jamal made more than Vanessa. Still, when Andrea worked to develop the offers, she made sure that both Jamal and Vanessa each got $5,000 more than what they earned at their prior employers. No problem, right?