Thursday, December 1, 2011

On taking a chance by hiring a 55 year old

I had an interesting conversation today with a new employee.  He's 55 years old, works in another department, and he mentioned that he really felt grateful to have a job with us since many companies are no longer willing to take a chance on a 55 year old. 

The guy has plenty of experience, and probably has great references and credentials. 

So why wouldn't other companies take a chance on him? 

It's because if he doesn't work out and he has to be fired, he can sue his employer for age discrimination. 

Doh ! 

In my previous job, I hired, trained and promoted enough gays to staff the Disneyworld parade.  But the powers-that-be got nervous.  Very nervous.  I eventually got sat down and told about the realities of Civil Rights law, and that I might want to take it easy on hiring those fine folks.  Lots of lawsuits over minority firings were in the works.  (Comic episode:  I'm ashamed that I actually tried to comply with this.  I promoted 3 consecutive people who came out of the closet 15 minutes after I promoted them.  Ha !  I hope you're out there reading this, Betsy Batchelder.)

Do you think that maybe, just maybe, more companies would promote more racial minorites to better positions if the companies couldn't be sued for changing their minds later on????

If I decide to stop giving money to Joe's Plumbing Service and start purchasing the same service from Bill's Plumbing Service, do I have to prove that I didn't do so because of Joe's age, race, weight, sexual orientation, religion, voting record, or attitudes toward dachshund ownership?  No.  That's why excellent plumbing services owned by old, black, fat, gay, Mormon, Libertarian dachshund owners are likely to stay in business just as long as excellent plumbing services owned by young, Hispanic,healthy, straight, Presbyterian, Democrat cat owners.  Customers aren't punished if they take a chance on a minority employee and change their minds later.  (And if you hire a plumber, you are an employer.  The plumber is your employee.  Please hurry up and wrap your head around that concept !!)

Purchasing labor and effort should be just like purchasing pizzas or lug nuts.

If I decide to switch from Kroger to Wal-Mart, I don't have to fill out any paperwork.  I just purchase goods and services from Wal-Mart.  Same thing for the people who replace my roof after every hailstorm.  I don't think I've ever used the same people twice.  I probably change my mind every time, and it's none of Harry Reid and John Boehner's business.     

Civil Rights law doesn't apply to those situations, thank God.  It only applies to certain labor agreements. 

If you ever allow yourself to be placed in a protected category by the government, you might be in big, big trouble.    There is a good chance that The Law Of Unintended Consequences is going to kick you very hard.  Good luck. 


CenTexTim said...

Now obama wants to add the long-term unemployed to the other protected categories.

That'll certainly lead to a rush of hiring.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Yeah, I read about that. And can you imagine how difficult it would be to prove that someone had committed that particular crime?

I swear to God, I'm considering writing a post and printing up leaflets from it, warning the Democrats that they better run somebody else for Prez next year. Otherwise, we're going to have all 3 branches represented by Republicans, and that ain't good.

I really do think that Obama just might be the most idiotic human with a relatively high I.Q. that God put guts in.


Harper said...

The joke of the 'at will' employment state. The mister probably spends 30% of his time at work documenting performance issues. It makes for a rather crappy work environment, having your every little discrepancy memorialized, but should you ever really screw up, the company needs to have a collection of documents that illustrate a history of failures, the better to defend the EEOC discrimination suit.

Right now his company is fighting a wrongful termination suit. They bought another territory with several existing locations and their practice is to run everyone through their normal hiring process so they have a complete HR file. They found a manager that is not authorized to work in the U.S. and released him until such a time that he could clear E-verify. Bam, discrimination claim.

It is disgusting that companies are often forced to settle and throw some money at these jerks, because the cost of defending the lawsuits is so much higher.