Job Posting: Candidates Must Be African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino

The State of New York is hiring a new intern for its summer internship program. Unfortunately, for a particular internship, they posted the job saying “Internship candidates must be underrepresented minorities (African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino American) college seniors graduating SPRING 2018 OR currently enrolled graduate students.”

Let’s unpack this, shall we? Can you see what is wrong with this job posting?

Right. You cannot recruit only people of certain races. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, race must be irrelevant.

Clearly, someone pointed this out to the recruiters who posted this job listing, because shortly after one of my readers sent me a screenshot, the job posting changed to remove the references to race, saying only that the candidates must be graduating seniors or grad students. However, the description still says:

To keep reading, click here: Job Posting: Candidates Must Be African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino

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10 thoughts on “Job Posting: Candidates Must Be African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino

  1. Great post, and I 100% support workplace diversity. The quote from the employment lawyer is perfect.

  2. This! I reviewed a job posting for a consulting client a couple of years ago, and the conversation went something like this…

    Me: “Um, you can’t say that. It’s discrimination.”
    Client: “Why not? I need someone who speaks Spanish.”
    Me *facepalm*: “That’s fine – you can certainly make ‘Fluent in Spanish’ a job requirement. But for one, just because someone is Hispanic does not mean they speak Spanish. And two, you cannot discriminate between candidates on the basis of race.”
    Client: “Are you sure? I’ve always put that in our job postings. Most of our patients are Hispanic, so we need Hispanic employees.”
    *head explodes*

    It was an interesting conversation to say the least…

    1. Technically, the EEOC considers “Hispanic” to be a National Origin and not a Race, but the practical results are the same.

  3. The problem with the posting is that they will still be looking for the underrepresented even with the changes, they just wont tell you.. Or in other words – basically how job posting descriptions work now. Post a job with expectations and preferences. But of course – the preferences are really required qualifications. An entire overhaul of how the hiring system works needs to occur. Ageism, discrimination, etc – all exists and is practiced.
    And to top it off you need a Bachelors degree to dig a ditch.

  4. If candidates must be graduating seniors or grad students, isn’t that discriminating against the protected class of people older than 40? Is “providing meaningful and relevant experience in preparation for employment in the health care industry” something that only recent graduates or grad students can do?

    1. As someone who is over 50, I am surprised that I didn’t catch that. Excellent catch. Thanks for pointing that out.

  5. Hmm, yeah, I see a lot of diversity programs that require you to be of a certain background. I wonder if it differs because it’s an internship? I’ve never seen a full-fledged job posting do this, as that would certainly cause a ruckus! However, I see what they are trying to do to diversify, and I like the point of age discrimination, as well. Maybe internships (for no pay?) are a bit different. Who knows. It’s probably all just perpetuating inequality.

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