One business that comes to mind while reading this question is Hooters. Hooters hires based on appearance and attractiveness, and much other business do the same thing, there is no law against this. Hooters knows that the prettier the girl, the more sales the store will have. “Employees attractiveness can often be an effective selling point, and part of a strategy to “brand” the seller through a certain look” (Rhode, 2014). They are in business to make money, so why would they want to hire someone who does not meet their criteria. I don’t think its discrimination. It is the employer’s responsibility to hire whoever they think is suitable for the position. It’s up to the employer to decide what employee to hire, and which one not to hire. “Title VII only prohibits discrimination against an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (Seaquist, 2012). Employment still remains on an “At will” basis, which means that employers can choose not to hire someone for no particular reason at all.
As business owners, employers should hire employees that meet their expectations. People who are attractive they get better treatment, “humans are more likely to associate positive personality traits with people who are physically attractive” (RCL, 2019). The study conducted by undergraduate students consisted pairing personality traits with faces they believed had those traits and the outcome was that “people have a tendency to associate negative personality traits with faces that are not physically attractive”(RCL, 2019). This researcher concluded that this is proof “beauty is good” stereotype” (RCL, 2019).
Discrimination in the workplace: Appearance and assimilation. (2017, March 13). Baily RCL. Retrieved August 5, 2019, from https://sites.psu.edu/baileyrcl/2017/03/13/discrimination-in-the-workplace-appearance-and-assimilation/ (Links to an external site.)
Seaquist, G. (2012). Business Law for Managers. [Electronic Version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/ (Links to an external site.)
Rhode, D. (2014). Hooters Hires Based on Looks. So do Many Companies. And there is No Law[Electronic Version]. Retrieved from https://newrepublic.com/article/118683/why-we (Links to an external site.) need law protect-against-appearance-discrimination.
My position in this argument is that employers should not be allowed to discriminate against anyone based on one’s attractiveness. Discrimination in the workplace and the hiring process has been a long-time issue that society has made great progress in improving, however it is still an issue in my opinion. “The ability of organizations to hire the best employees for each job can be negatively affected by implicit biases of the hiring decision-makers. This may be increasingly applicable in today’s workplace, since more and more hiring professionals are using sites like LinkedIn and Facebook as part of the hiring process” (Paustian-Underdahl, 2016, p. 1054). I believe there should not be any permitted type of discrimination allowed in the hiring process, whether it be for attractiveness, weight, height, sex, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. I think that there should be requirements for a position, and the applicant who best meets those requirements should be chosen for the position.
It is my opinion that allowing companies to discriminate in their hiring process based on attractiveness, is no different than allowing them to discriminate for any other reason such as age, sex, race, etc. What makes one acceptable and not the other? Why is acceptable to not hire the less attractive person, but it is not acceptable to do the same thing based on one’s religious preference or age? The only difference is that one is a protected class and the other is not. It seems like if you are going to allow for one, you should be allowing for all discrimination, and that would be a huge step backwards in society and all the ground that we have made over the years in antidiscrimination laws.
The unfortunate reality in society is that an employer can discriminate again unprotected classes of people for reasons such as attractiveness and there is really nothing that the applicant can do about it in those situations. “In many instances of employment discrimination, the employee does not have any legal recourse for being dismissed or not hired in the first place, because the employee is not in a legally protected class” (Seaquist, 2012, section 26.5). Hopefully this will someday change.
Paustian-Underdahl, S. C., & Walker, L. S. (2016). Revisiting the beauty is beastly effect: examining when and why sex and attractiveness impact hiring judgments. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 27(10), 1034–1058. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1080/09585192.2015.1053963
Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
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