Tuesday, January 05, 2010

in some institutions, if you only speak English, your skills are "not strongly desired"

Robin's Commentary --

Follow-up on a previous article

In one of my previous commentaries, titled "this article should be interesting to follow..." in which I was talking about the unemployment situation and brought to light Lane community college's preference for a maintenance job in Florence that they are advertising in their job description as follows...
Job Title: Part-time, Temporary Maintenance Worker/Custodian Florence Center
Classification: Maintenance Worker {link}

"As a vibrant educational institution, Lane is continuing to attract and retain a diverse student population. We are seeking qualified staff and educators to meet this need. Preferred candidates will be able to demonstrate active dedication to enhancing diversity and the role-modeling of cultural competency. Bilingual skills in Asian and Spanish languages are strongly desired. "

An interesting turn of events is that one of my regular readers/commentators Bobkatt, sent an inquiry to the HR person at LCC asking exactly why knowing Spanish/Asian languages would be a condition for a custodial job.

Here's a reply that he got...

I am not sure if this is a question or a statement. It is a very good inquiry. The Asian/Spanish language preference is not a requirement for a job unless specifically stated. Any preference listed in a posting, including bi-lingual skills, is a focused skill that would bring benefit to the students or position.

If you have not done so already, you may view a list of open positions by logging on to our "Employment Opportunities" website at https://jobs.lanecc.edu. To be considered for any open positions, applicants must submit their applications and required documents electronically. As you read the postings take special note of the Minimum Qualification sections. In order to be considered for a position ensure that your application and/or hiring materials demonstrate how you meet the minimum required experience and minimum required education listed.

Preferences are not required for you to apply to or be considered for a position."

that is a BS statement if I ever heard one.


Think about it.

If you are a black person and you see an advertisement stating that "Whites are strongly desirable", are you going to apply for that job with any real expectation that you'll even get an interview. Probably not.

In fact, the NAACP would be all over this one. Without a doubt, this is outright discrimination based on skin color. So why do we tolerate with language?

"Preferences are not required for you to apply or to be considered for a position." That is correct. You can apply for any position you wish to. I could apply to be a brain surgeon at Sacred Heart Hospital. I would not have any chance of even being considered because I don't have any medical training, but I can apply for it.

I mean there are special circumstances where I could see a language requirement, same thing that there are some jobs that have a gender requirement. However, those are special circumstances and are normally very rare.

Additionally, if the business or institution is also promoting this type of language discrimination, just like with any other EEOC requirements, if they are federally funded than their funds should be withheld.

In the same manner, I don't think discrimination should be tolerated in any business.

So if you see a similar job posting somewhere else, send me a note and I'll post it here.

And let's let the marketplace decide by voting with our dollars.


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