Beware These 5 (Perfectly Legal) Discriminatory Hiring Practices

Admit it, Bitch Nation: you missed us and our relentless griping about labor rights during our two-week summer hiatus. Well cheer up, people, because the Bitches are BACK (and still griping about labor rights)!

Today’s topic: discriminatory hiring practices.

One of our most popular articles to date is our list of illegal job interview questions. In that post, we explained how how there are laws in place to mitigate discriminatory hiring practices. An employer can’t ask a job candidate’s age, for example, to avoid ageism when hiring.

If you’re on the job hunt, you should familiarize yourself with the questions a potential employer can’t ask you. Know your rights lest you unwittingly allow an employer to use your personal demographics (rather than your job qualifications) to exclude you from a job opportunity.

Yet despite all the things an employer can’t legally ask in a job interview… some weaselly fuckers still find ways to introduce bias into their hiring practices. In fact, a lot that can happen during job applications and interviews that probably should be illegal… but isn’t.

Let’s go over some discriminatory hiring practices that are somehow still legal. Y’know, before we get to the inevitable pro-labor call to action. ¡Viva la revolución, comrades!

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One Easy Thing All Allies Can Do to Help Close the Gender and Racial Pay Gap

1 Easy Way All Allies Can Help Close the Gender and Racial Pay Gap

If you’re a rad intersectional ally who wants to make life fairer for everyone, there’s one incredibly easy thing you can do—right now—to close the gender and racial wage gap. It has to do with pay transparency. It’s an incredibly powerful form of activism, and it can be done by almost anyone. Are you ready? Here it is…

Tell your coworkers how much money you make.

Especially women, people of color, disabled people, immigrants, and any one else who is part of a historically marginalized or exploited group.

And be specific and honest! No ranges, no euphemisms, just the exact number that appears on your paycheck. Don’t skip over any bonuses, raises, or other perks you’ve earned or negotiated, such as extra vacation time, remote work days, or tuition reimbursement.

Pay transparency is a tremendous boon to yourself as well as them. And we need it now, more than ever. Here’s why.

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The Subjectivity of Wealth, Or: Don’t Tell Me What’s Expensive

Wealth is largely subjective. Depending on where you’re sitting on the great Staircase of Financial Solvency, your perspective of who’s wealthy and what’s expensive is going to vary wildly.

Because of this disparity, the definition of “expensive” truly depends on an individual’s personal money situation. Someone who makes $300K a year and can easily afford their rent and insurance isn’t going to think twice about buying cage free eggs, organic milk, and grass-fed beef. Meanwhile, their neighbor who makes $30K a year is going to be buying the practically expired milk on sale. To them, the whole concept of buying organic, cruelty-free food seems absurdly out of reach… even while their wealthier neighbor finds it “inexpensive.”

Which is why it’s about as irritating as a Spotify Premium commercial to hear people speak authoritatively about what’s expensive and what’s not. Especially when their version of “expensive” is a diamond encrusted dog manicure and yours is a Whole Foods grapefruit.

Lemme ‘splain.

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The Latte Factor, Poor Shaming, and Economic Compassion

There’s a piece of conventional financial wisdom called the Latte Factor. It goes like this: if you’re looking to save money or pay off debt, start by skipping small luxuries like lattes and instead put that money toward your financial goals. The single digit savings will add up to a significant amount over time. All because you had the fortitude to practice a little self-control. It’s a simple, effective way to find some wiggle room in your budget and a great first step toward living a frugal lifestyle.

The Latte Factor is both virtuous and practical. It gives its frugal practitioner a sense of self-righteous superiority over those who continue to waste their money on overpriced, over-sweetened, caffeinated beverages every day. And because it’s such a simple solution, those preaching the gospel of frugality peddle it like a magic elixir. Can’t seem to save money? Just skip the latte! It works miracles!

Yet to those who truly struggle with systemic poverty, getting advice about the Latte Factor feels horribly condescending. In fact, being told that skipping a small luxury here and there will raise you up out of your low-income status feels downright cruel and deliberately ignorant. Because in cases of economic disenfranchisement, a lack of frugality is not the root of the problem.

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