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EP 1280 When hiring, are you allowed to deny people on a bad personality?

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"When hiring, are you allowed to deny people on the bad personality where, if they don't embody the company image, even if they meet the paper requirements."
I want to break this question down into a couple of different components.  The basis of the rejection is your personality, not whether you have the skill… The company image… I'm confused about that but I will try to sort through as I talk.

Discrimination exists, under US law, based upon a number of criteria.  Some states have added additional criteria onto the initial federal wants.  As long as the form of discrimination. Any of those laws, it is not, by definition, discrimination.  It may be discriminatory. It may reflect ignorance, but it is not legally discrimination.

In this example, a person meets the paper requirements and we don't know whether this person displayed their knowledge poorly on the interview.  We are just going to look at what we know here.  This person believes that they were turned down based upon personality and a 2nd criteria.

Personality is not a discriminatory category under any criteria I've ever heard of.  Firms are allowed to evaluate people for "fit" as long as that doesn't fall into a discriminatory category.  For example, we don't think you fit in because we only hire men.  Another example would be your gay and we only hire heterosexuals.  And, of course you are black and we are white or your white or black.  What do you know about our culture without actually giving them a chance to demonstrate that in the course of the interview?  That would be clear discrimination based upon it. Personality… No.

Company Image?
I had a question based upon the phrase, "the company image."  They don't embody "the company image."  I'm wondering whether this is a question about weight and whether this person might be profoundly obese, for example.  In certain states, that behavior might qualify as discrimination.

Ultimately, you have to prove that was the criteria for being rejected by this organization.  That is a hard road to take.  In terms of weight, to my knowledge, an attorney would know this better, you can't use the excuse of, "No one at this firm is morbidly obese."  That's a term that I've heard used, to describe someone who was extremely overweight.  They are at the point of risking death by being that overweight.

Again, if you really believe that this is the case, consult an attorney and see what they have to say.  Find out what it would take to prove your case if the issue is about you being extremely overweight.  See if that would allow you to become a part of a "protected class" under state or federal law.  If you live in a bigger city, you might be protected under local law, as well, because those laws are added on top of the original federal law.

I'm sorry to be more specific, but I think this becomes a way to evaluate whether this is a case of discrimination and whether firms can do it.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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