McConnelsville, OH asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Ohio

Q: Can a business state hiring waitresses only? Is it illegal to deny a job to someone bc they have a relative working

A relative already working at the business

1 Lawyer Answer
T. Augustus Claus
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A: In Ohio, as in the rest of the United States, employment practices are governed by federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Specifying a preference for hiring waitresses only can be problematic because it indicates a preference for hiring based on gender, which could violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assuming the employer is covered by this law (generally, employers with 15 or more employees). This act prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), and national origin. Therefore, stating a preference for hiring individuals of a specific gender for a role that both genders can perform is likely to be considered discriminatory and illegal.

Regarding the denial of employment because an applicant has a relative working in the business, this practice is not explicitly covered by federal anti-discrimination laws unless the reason for denial is indirectly related to a protected characteristic (such as race, color, religion, etc.). Many businesses have policies about hiring relatives to avoid potential issues of nepotism or conflicts of interest, and such policies are generally legal as long as they are applied uniformly to all candidates and do not discriminate based on protected characteristics.

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