🐈 Community

Discriminatory job post

Yesterday I came across a job post that is clearly disciminatory. I can't speak for other countries, but in the US you can not post a job post saying that you prefer to hire someone with a specific religious belief. I flagged the post 3 times yet is still up. This client is based in the US. 

 

Surely this can't be good for Upwork's reputation. 

 

 

 

44 REPLIES 44
petra_r
Member


Tatyana M wrote:

Yesterday I came across a job post that is clearly disciminatory. I can't speak for other countries, but in the US you can not post a job post saying that you prefer to hire someone with a specific religious belief. I flagged the post 3 times yet is still up. This client is based in the US. 

 

Surely this can't be good for Upwork's reputation. 

 

 

 


In my entirely not legally educated opinion, based on previous situations like it, it's not acceptable to say that you don't want XYZ to apply, but often is acceptable to say you want ABC.

 

You could not become a Catholic priest without being catholic for example.

It is also conceivable that a client who wants a writer for a specifically Jewish blog to be Jewish.

 

To be honest, especially with paid connects I'd rather the client states it up-front. They will not hire a person who does not meet some criterium that is clearly very important to them, so why let others waste their connects on applying for a contract which they will never get?

 

So if the client was forced to edit out that requirement, people who stand no chance of winning it will waste their time and their connects.

 

Also remember that employment law does not cover freelancing in most respects.

Basically I can understand some things related.
I can understand if someone wants to hire pro in Arabic calligraphy, and being so is impossible without being Arab or at least living in some Arabic country or studying Arabic culture during many years.
I can understand if someone wants to hire blogger for Japanese dishes and being so is impossible without being Japanese or at least living in Japan or studying Japan during many years.
But what I can´t understand it´s mentioning that you want to hire 3d modeler and it MUST live in States for example. If you need to hire somebody from certain timezone, mention timezone please. Otherwise it seems pure racism, I agree with Tatiana. And, moreover, Upwork unfortunately supports this. I mentioned this a few times in posts before. Yes, a lot of I*****s for example offer their 3d services, being 100% unable to complete this, just because of the poor situation of the country. But I have not rights to decide that all they are the same, because a lot of their compatriots are leading developers of famous programs. 
I think, including country or region must have very tight restrictions, and generally the best solution is to remove the country from the info at all. Let people decide on base on feedback and portfolio.


Valery K wrote:

Basically I can understand some things related.
I can understand if someone wants to hire pro in Arabic calligraphy, and being so is impossible without being Arab or at least living in some Arabic country or studying Arabic culture during many years.
I can understand if someone wants to hire blogger for Japanese dishes and being so is impossible without being Japanese or at least living in Japan or studying Japan during many years.
But what I can´t understand it´s mentioning that you want to hire 3d modeler and it MUST live in States for example. If you need to hire somebody from certain timezone, mention timezone please. Otherwise it seems pure racism, I agree with Tatiana. And, moreover, Upwork unfortunately supports this. I mentioned this a few times in posts before. Yes, a lot of I*****s for example offer their 3d services, being 100% unable to complete this, just because of the poor situation of the country. But I have not rights to decide that all they are the same, because a lot of their compatriots are leading developers of famous programs. 
I think, including country or region must have very tight restrictions, and generally the best solution is to remove the country from the info at all. Let people decide on base on feedback and portfolio.


Racism? We have more than one race living in America. If you could select multiple time zones instead of country the end result would be the same. People working from 9-5 CST may prefer to work with other people who work roughly the same hours. I'll do work for people in Australia, but I don't prefer it... it's a PITA to wait 8 hours for a reply to a message.

 

Are you unable to even apply to a US only job, or is it like when I'm not in the correct time zone... I can apply but the client will see that I don't meet certain preferred requirements?

Dear Kelly.
Better saying, it is not racism, they are superstitions against concrete countries.
Unfortunately Upwork eliminates all links related to real posts.
If you want, I can send you concrete examples of such things in PM. It's impossible to explain with other matters but this.


Valery K wrote:

Basically I can understand some things related.
I can understand if someone wants to hire pro in Arabic calligraphy, and being so is impossible without being Arab or at least living in some Arabic country or studying Arabic culture during many years.
I can understand if someone wants to hire blogger for Japanese dishes and being so is impossible without being Japanese or at least living in Japan or studying Japan during many years.
But what I can´t understand it´s mentioning that you want to hire 3d modeler and it MUST live in States for example. If you need to hire somebody from certain timezone, mention timezone please. Otherwise it seems pure racism, I agree with Tatiana. And, moreover, Upwork unfortunately supports this. I mentioned this a few times in posts before. Yes, a lot of I*****s for example offer their 3d services, being 100% unable to complete this, just because of the poor situation of the country. But I have not rights to decide that all they are the same, because a lot of their compatriots are leading developers of famous programs. 
I think, including country or region must have very tight restrictions, and generally the best solution is to remove the country from the info at all. Let people decide on base on feedback and portfolio.


It's not racism, it's nationalism. 

I wish I could post the link here but I think that is against Upwork's policies?

 

This is a fashion design job, and they want designs that "emphasized layers and soft fabrics to create a comfortable, lived-in look. " inspired by "religion, music, and hope."

 

Fashion designers are ofter asked to design based on inspiration from all sorts of sources. You can have a collection based on the space age mixed with a bit of reinassane art- you don't need to be an expert in those fields to design this collection, just as you don't need to be of a certain religion to design something inpired by religion, hope, or music. 

If, for example, they wanted someone under 30 to work for them because they are designing for 22-28 year old demographic and state that- that would be clear age discrimination and I would be equally annoyed. 

 

I am not asking for much- They don't even have to take down the post- it can just be re-worded. 

 


Tatyana M wrote:

 

I am not asking for much- They don't even have to take down the post- it can just be re-worded. 

 


So you want freelancers to waste their time and their connects and their money applying for a job they have no chance at all of ever getting?

Or do you actually for one second believe that removing that sentence will somehow also remove the fact that the client wants to hire someone from their preferred demographic?


Petra R wrote:

Tatyana M wrote:

 

I am not asking for much- They don't even have to take down the post- it can just be re-worded. 

 


So you want freelancers to waste their time and their connects and their money applying for a job they have no chance at all of ever getting?

Or do you actually for one second believe that removing that sentence will somehow also remove the fact that the client wants to hire someone from their preferred demographic?


The name of this particular company would be a pretty dead giveaway.

"Or do you actually for one second believe that removing that sentence will somehow also remove the fact that the client wants to hire someone from their preferred demographic?"

 

That is not my goal or point, the client is free to hire whoever they please. To me, removing that sentense is the difference between a normal job post and one that is discriminatory. Personally, those details matter a lot to me. I feel strongly that we shouldn't let any kind of discrimanation, be it religion, race, age, or gender grow more prevalent and little actions make a difference. You might disagree with this or my point, and I respect that, but I am stating my opinion. 


Tatyana M wrote:

"Or do you actually for one second believe that removing that sentence will somehow also remove the fact that the client wants to hire someone from their preferred demographic?"

 

That is not my goal or point, the client is free to hire whoever they please. To me, removing that sentense is the difference between a normal job post and one that is discriminatory.


So you are perfectly happy for the client to only hire a certain demographic, as long as they don't save people who are not part of that demographic from wasting their time, money and connects by making it clear on their job posts.

 

OK then. That clears your position up perfectly. You want people to waste their time, connects and money applying for job posts they can not win just so your sensibilities are not offended by the wording of a job post.

 

"So you are perfectly happy for the client to only hire a certain demographic, as long as they don't save people who are not part of that demographic from wasting their time, money and connects by making it clear on their job posts.

 

OK then. That clears your position up perfectly. You want people to waste their time, connects and money applying for job posts they can not win just so your sensibilities are not offended by the wording of a job post."

 

Petra, please don't put words in my mouth. It is unnecessary and unhelpful. It is clear that you see things differently and I don't aim to change your mind. 

 


Tatyana M wrote:

"So you are perfectly happy for the client to only hire a certain demographic, as long as they don't save people who are not part of that demographic from wasting their time, money and connects by making it clear on their job posts.

 

OK then. That clears your position up perfectly. You want people to waste their time, connects and money applying for job posts they can not win just so your sensibilities are not offended by the wording of a job post."

 

Petra, please don't put words in my mouth.


I am not putting words in your mouth in any way, shape or form.

That is, according to your own posts, exactly what it boils down to though, isn't it?

Read your own posts and think it through to its logical conclusion.

 

You want the wording removed, so freelancers are misled into thinking they stand a chance and waste their time, their money and their connects.

 


Tatyana M wrote:

"Or do you actually for one second believe that removing that sentence will somehow also remove the fact that the client wants to hire someone from their preferred demographic?"

 

That is not my goal or point, the client is free to hire whoever they please. To me, removing that sentense is the difference between a normal job post and one that is discriminatory. Personally, those details matter a lot to me. I feel strongly that we shouldn't let any kind of discrimanation, be it religion, race, age, or gender grow more prevalent and little actions make a difference. You might disagree with this or my point, and I respect that, but I am stating my opinion. 


So you DO think it's better for the client to be silenced on who he/she is willing to hire and so trick freelancers into buying connects and bidding on a job they have no chance of getting?

Yes, you got me, I am against discrimination, even it if inconvinences you. 


Tatyana M wrote:

Yes, you got me, I am against discrimination, even it if inconvinences you. 


It doesn't inconvenience me in the least.

 

It does, however, inconvenience the targets of the "discrimination." Maybe it does more than inconvenience them--maybe it causes them to use up their connects budget on jobs they won't ever be hired on and then not be able to secure paying work.

 

It just seems odd that you care more about what someone writes down in an ad than their actual practices or how it impacts the people being discriminated against. Usually when people feel strongly about discrimination, it's because they want to protect the people being discriminated against, so it's surprising to see someone who supposedly objects to discrimination so willing to sacrifice the victims.

Let's not dramatize and exaggerate here. If the post says they are a religious company looking for work based on that religion, a freelancer can infer that they would prefer someone of that religion and not apply if they don't want to.

Regardless, I can't find that job post now so perhaps upwork thinks it violates their policies.

re: "I can't find that job post now so perhaps upwork thinks it violates their policies."

 

Presumably they finished hiring people.

 

As a client, when I have finished hiring the people I need, I close the job posting as soon as possible, so that other freelancers don't waste their time or connects bidding on an already-filled job.

prestonhunter
Member

Tatyana:

It sounds like you want to limit the freedom of Upwork users. Why is that?

 

If a client needs to hire somebody with a specific skill set, background, or knowledge base, then there is nothing wrong with that.

 

Would you like to provide more details so we can understand this job posting better?

Keep in mind that every job posting on Upwork is discriminatory.

 

Only Upwork freelancers may apply to Upwork job postings. Only a few million people in the world are Upwork freelancers, out of approximately 7.7 billion people. And Upwork actively rejects most people who apply to become freelancers.

 

There is nothing wrong with that.

"It sounds like you want to limit the freedom of Upwork users. Why is that?"

 

Absolutely, I want to limit the freedom of Upwork users to discriminate. "Freedom" does not mean being above the law and that argument is just plain bad on so many levels. 

 

While you might not care or mind, but it has no bearing on wheather it is legal or not.  

 

Here is a good resource: https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/index.cfm

Would you like to tell us more about the job, or would you prefer to not say anything about it?

 

We may be able to help you understand the job in context. Just saying something is "discrimanatory" doesn't really mean anything.

 

I do understand and appreciate your basic instincts on this matter. But the link you referenced applies to employment, and does not apply here.

 

I think if you provide us with more detail about the job we can help you understand it in context and provide some additional perspective. The job posting MAY be inappropriate. Or it might NOT be inappropriate. But we can't simply say that a job posting should be removed from Upwork because it is "discrimanatory" because every job posting on Upwork and every job listing anywhere is discrimanatory.


Tatyana M wrote:

 

While you might not care or mind, but it has no bearing on wheather it is legal or not.  

 

Here is a good resource: https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/index.cfm


How do employment laws apply to hiring freelancers?

You are also not adressing the fact that asking for a specific demographic to apply is not the same as saying "no applicants from another."

 

Again, I'd rather know if a client won't hire me because I am not something that is really important to them.

 

"You are also not adressing the fact that asking for a specific demographic to apply is not the same as saying "no applicants from another."

 

You don't have to necessarily prohibit someone from applying to be discriminatory: "For example, a help-wanted ad that seeks "females" or "recent college graduates" may discourage men and people over 40 from applying and may violate the law."

 

Saying in a job post "We are a company based on religion X" is enough to signal to potential applicants that they want someone from religion x without stating so explicitly. 

Valery: You are correct in pointing out that there are many, many types of jobs in which specific types of freelancers would be appropriate for the job, while others would not be. That is known as being "discerning" or "discriminatory."

 

The problem is that we have no idea what the original poster is referring to.

 

Maybe she saw a job posting like this: "I need to find somebody who believes in and is familiar with holistic healing to write articles about holistic healing retreats for my website that lets people look up information about retreats throughout the U.S."

 

Or maybe it was a job posting like this: "My screenplay features a hard-boiled atheist detective and his greenie Orthodox Jewish partner. I need an Orthodox Jewish writer with a keen ear for dialogue and an understanding of this character's background to review the script and help me make it authentic."

 

Or maybe it was a job posting like this: "Environmental activism website seeking general board advisor with strong environmentalist beliefs and experience explaining these positions to a general audience."

re: "Saying in a job post 'We are a company based on religion X' is enough to signal to potential applicants that they want someone from religion x without stating so explicitly"

 

There is nothing wrong with this.

 

This company probably IS based on religion X. Do you want them to lie about it or withhold that information?

 

If a person does not want to apply to a job posting because the company posting the job is based on religion X, then doesn't that mean that the job-seeker is discriminatory against religion X?

I don't think you read my entire post before replying. 

 

Yes, it it enough just to say that and not a problem. They just can't also say that they prefer to hire someone who believes in religion X. 

 

You can also read above my description of the job post. I quotes as much as I could without calling them out. 


Tatyana M wrote:

I don't think you read my entire post before replying. 

 

Yes, it it enough just to say that and not a problem. They just can't also say that they prefer to hire someone who believes in religion X. 

 

You can also read above my description of the job post. I quotes as much as I could without calling them out. 


I did read your post and I have seen other jobs that request a certain that a freelancer be part of a specific faith. But it's not A JOB, PERIOD. A company with employees is subject to different rules than any project listing on Upwork. Ok I'm going to the EEOC site now.

The EEOC site was unhelpful, but here are two related FAQs:

 

Do Federal laws apply to my business

They specifically mention "part time" and "seasonal," however I don't see anything about how these laws apply to independent contractors.

 

Regardless, as someone who has been seeking full time employment for quite some time, it is INCREDIBLY hard to prove discrimination.  I would just ignore this project listing and move on.

 

Sorry! I was actually replying to Preston and must have clicked the wrong button. (He took  a sensence entirely out of context and replied as if I said the opposite of what I did.)

 

I do think you are right, these rules generally don't apply to freelancers. I did not know this and am surprised. (I'm in the Bay Area and we have several excellent laws to protect workers so I guess just got accustomed to thinking it should be the norm.)

 

I do hope that this chages in the future as more and more people are now freelancing, either by choice or by need. 


Tatyana M wrote:

Sorry! I was actually replying to Preston and must have clicked the wrong button. (He took  a sensence entirely out of context and replied as if I said the opposite of what I did.)

Using the quote function helps with readability! 

 

I do think you are right, these rules generally don't apply to freelancers. I did not know this and am surprised. (I'm in the Bay Area and we have several excellent laws to protect workers so I guess just got accustomed to thinking it should be the norm.)

 

I do hope that this chages in the future as more and more people are now freelancing, either by choice or by need. 


I actually feel differently. As a job seeker, I feel like all the rules and regs are actually working against me, so I don't want to see more rules! For instance, by law, all jobs must be posted so everyone has an opportunity to apply. Do you know how many job postings are "fake" as in, they are already filled, but HR has to post to the job? I don't know the number, but I feel like at least 25 to 30% of the jobs I have applied to were already "filled."

 

As jobs become more specialized you are going to see even more "requirements" and "selectivity," in the market. It's going to be very hard to prove any discrimination (and of course, I believe it's real), because all the company has to say is "the applicant didn't have 8 of the 30 requirements.  

 

I'd rather focus my energy on jobs and opportunities that are a strong fit, than subject companies and employers to more rules.

It looks like a project that pays well and has very few applicants. Id' apply and say even though I'm not XX I certainly respect the faith and as a professional can assure you that my designs will be in line with your needs.

 

 

Regardless of the specifics of the job posting (and as a writer, I have seen jobs requesting a Christian faith/background), people are ignoring Petra's point. 

 

I am not a lawyer, but I can't see how these project (not going to call them a job) listings are governed by the EEOC.  I'm too lazy to look it up, but I'm 99.9% certain this site, nor its postings, are required to abide by anything related to employement. Obviously they can't request that the freelancer do anything illegal, but that's not the same as their project post requesting specific attributes of a freelancer.

 

Where things may be gray are if the jobs pay you via W-2 (or W-4, I can never remember). 

I'm fairly libertarian. But I respect people whose beliefs differ from my own.

 

I'm not going to convince somebody that something is fine if she really doesn't think it is fine.

 

But let's put things into perspective:

Look through hundreds of job postings on Upwork. Look through thousands of job postings on Upwork.

 

How many actually mention any religious affiliation at all?


This is an exceedingly rare thing to see. So regardless of where one stands on the appropriateness of such a job posting, it simply can't be argued that this is some kind of epidemic problem.

 

(The original poster was not claiming any such thing. She was complaining about a single job posting.)

 

If someone feels that references to religious beliefs do not belong in Upwork job postings, they can take solace in knowing that for the most part... there is no such thing. Most job postings are more along the lines of "I need someone to create a Wordpress theme for my online shoe store."

Are you saying that since it is rare and almost never happens it isn't a problem and should be ignored?

 

This is bad argument, again, on so many levels.

re: "Are you saying that since it is rare and almost never happens it isn't a problem and should be ignored?"

 

I'm saying there is nothing wrong with it.

 

If you think it's a problem, then you should prefer this:

 

a) This is a very rare thing on Upwork.

 

over this:

 

b) This is very common on Upwork.

 

As things stand, with this being something which is certainly allowed, but very rare, I think you may in good conscience continue to use Upwork.

 

You can easily ignore such job postings.

 

But if there was something on Upwork that you saw frequently, and could hardly avoid, then you might be faced with a real decision about whether to continue using the site based on the prevalance of that thing that you don't like.

Preston, you are completely missing my point. Let's not make assumptions or generalizations from specific statements about a specific situation. If you want to have the last word, please feel free to respond but I am off to do some work. 

To Preston: and designing the guitar or mandoline has any relation to religion?
The same guitar maker TWICE rejected my offer (I can't see the name of project author, as far as you know), just because of my being from Armenia.
I have not other explanations, just because I am top-rated, have many similar projects done with exceptional quality, and price was not the matter as I accepted client´s price by default.

lysis10
Member

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi All,

 

I was able to locate the job posting this discussion is about and will make sure it's reviewed by appropriate team. If it's found to be in violation of Upwork ToS, action will be taken accordingly. Please, refer to Upwork Terms of Use for more information.

~ Valeria
Upwork