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Old 09-28-2009, 01:01 PM   #1
Flutterby68
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Default Discrimination

I'm currently job hunting. I have impeccable credentials, a very well put together resume, excellent references and a solid work history. If skill tests (typing, etc.) are required, I ace them.

I got a call to go into a law firm in early August for an interview. I wore my chocolate brown pantsuit, low heels, minimal makeup, and looked professional and capable. As I was sitting in the lobby awaiting the interview, I noticed that both the receptionists were young, cute, and thin - probably a size 6, maximum. I noticed various employees walking past, and the men were of varying sizes. The women, however, were ALL cute, youngish and THIN. Without exception. Probably the largest was a size 10.

Then I went in to be interviewed. The CFO (a man) was quite large. The office manager (a woman) was probably a size 4. The interview went very well, we addressed things I'd done and how I handle things and it seemed I fit exactly the criteria they were looking for. I went home and promptly sent off my thank-you letter.

A week letter I get a form letter basically saying they don't want me. Ok fine.

I spoke to some friends in the legal community, and apparently this particular firm WILL NOT hire big women. The owner (lawyer) only hires women that he finds attractive. They have to have the credentials, of course, but they MUST be attractive to him - which means thin.

I find this incredibly offensive. The size of my dress is not indicative of my capabilities, and just because I'm fat does NOT mean that I am lazy! I actually got called by the CFO for an interview on Friday, and when I mentioned that he'd interviewed me in August he said "Oh, never mind. If we didn't want you before, there must have been a reason." and hung up on me.

I had the same issue when I was still dating. I had MANY men tell me they'd be more than happy to have sex with me, but they would NEVER openly date me because they didn't want to be seen with the fat girl. It got to the point that I actually changed all my online dating profiles to say "I am a BBW. If you don't want me when I'm fat, then I won't want YOU when I'm thin. I deserve better."

For dating, I expected a certain amount of men not wanting me due to my size. But for hiring??? and for the most part, height/weight are not protected criteria so a lawsuit isn't even possible.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:35 AM   #2
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I'm sorry to hear about this experience. I know, it sucks. I often suspected similar hiring practices when I was looking for a teaching job in the public schools. I got interviews based upon my resume and fantastic recommendations, but rejection letters invariably followed. Until one day, I was interviewed by a woman who was a very cute BBW herself, and principal of a school in a residential treatment center. I was hired in very short order (the school year had already started).

Don't give up. Take the same attitude from your new online dating profiles and you can apply it to your job search. You wouldn't want to work in a place like that anyway.

((hugs))

Betty
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:33 AM   #3
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Well, I no longer USE the online dating profiles since I'm married, but I know what you mean
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:33 AM   #4
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I notice by one of your posts that you live in Michigan, which is the only state in the US with weight included in their anti-discriminations laws. A lawyer in that state should know better, and perhaps he should be made aware of the laws in his own state?
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:40 AM   #5
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Weight is only included for housing, not for employment.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:43 AM   #6
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This seems to say otherwise, though:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ac...sen_8772_7.pdf
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:56 AM   #7
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Even if that is the case... 1. PROVING that weight is the issue is almost impossible and 2. Laywers are notorious for being the first to break the laws because they know how to do it.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Flutterby68 View Post
Even if that is the case... 1. PROVING that weight is the issue is almost impossible and 2. Laywers are notorious for being the first to break the laws because they know how to do it.
Good points. I was thinking that perhaps it would be cathartic to somehow send the man in question notice that he is blatantly breaking the law, anonymously.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:50 AM   #9
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Oh trust me, I'd like to. But if there was even a hint of suspicion that it was me, it could backfire. I just figure if he'd hired me, I wouldn't last long in that atmosphere anyway. I'd NOT hold my tongue if anything derogatory were said, and I could end up getting blackballed. So I'm better off not working with him in the first place.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:15 AM   #10
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Hmmm, would be interesting to run the firm's name through google and see what comes up....and also to go looking if there is anything like a forum where people talk about local firms and give reviews of them? Perhaps go on anonymously (from a public computer) and mention that you've heard the firm has a firm policy of only hiring women who are young, thin, and attractive, so that if you are more interested in oggling the staff than in legal advice, it is the firm to seek out.

In short, just publicize their policy...but yah, don't want to get linked to it, don't want to end up blackballed, or worse sued for libel.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flutterby68 View Post
I'm currently job hunting. I have impeccable credentials, a very well put together resume, excellent references and a solid work history. If skill tests (typing, etc.) are required, I ace them.

I got a call to go into a law firm in early August for an interview. I wore my chocolate brown pantsuit, low heels, minimal makeup, and looked professional and capable. As I was sitting in the lobby awaiting the interview, I noticed that both the receptionists were young, cute, and thin - probably a size 6, maximum. I noticed various employees walking past, and the men were of varying sizes. The women, however, were ALL cute, youngish and THIN. Without exception. Probably the largest was a size 10.

Then I went in to be interviewed. The CFO (a man) was quite large. The office manager (a woman) was probably a size 4. The interview went very well, we addressed things I'd done and how I handle things and it seemed I fit exactly the criteria they were looking for. I went home and promptly sent off my thank-you letter.

A week letter I get a form letter basically saying they don't want me. Ok fine.

I spoke to some friends in the legal community, and apparently this particular firm WILL NOT hire big women. The owner (lawyer) only hires women that he finds attractive. They have to have the credentials, of course, but they MUST be attractive to him - which means thin.

I find this incredibly offensive. The size of my dress is not indicative of my capabilities, and just because I'm fat does NOT mean that I am lazy! I actually got called by the CFO for an interview on Friday, and when I mentioned that he'd interviewed me in August he said "Oh, never mind. If we didn't want you before, there must have been a reason." and hung up on me.

I had the same issue when I was still dating. I had MANY men tell me they'd be more than happy to have sex with me, but they would NEVER openly date me because they didn't want to be seen with the fat girl. It got to the point that I actually changed all my online dating profiles to say "I am a BBW. If you don't want me when I'm fat, then I won't want YOU when I'm thin. I deserve better."

For dating, I expected a certain amount of men not wanting me due to my size. But for hiring??? and for the most part, height/weight are not protected criteria so a lawsuit isn't even possible.
Flutter,

By reading the boards the past few days it sounds like you have so much on your plate that isn't too appealing. I'm so sorry for that. I've personally never encountered any discrimination, but I can imagine that it leaves one with a lot of unpleasant feelings. I hope you find a good job soon where they recognize your talents.

I just wanted to tell you to keep your chin up and welcome to Dims.

Sarah
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:12 AM   #12
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What a frustrating situation: I'm sorry you had to endure it. OTOH, I think you dodged a pretty big bullet -- maybe even a cannonball! Would you really want to work for a jackass who hires women to feed his sexual fantasies? Sounds to me like an invitation to harassment.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flutterby68 View Post
... I got a call to go into a law firm in early August for an interview. ... As I was sitting in the lobby awaiting the interview, I noticed that both the receptionists were young, cute, and thin - probably a size 6, maximum. I noticed various employees walking past, and the men were of varying sizes. The women, however, were ALL cute, youngish and THIN. Without exception. Probably the largest was a size 10.

...

I spoke to some friends in the legal community, and apparently this particular firm WILL NOT hire big women. The owner (lawyer) only hires women that he finds attractive. They have to have the credentials, of course, but they MUST be attractive to him - which means thin.

I find this incredibly offensive. ...
Yes it offensive and unfortunately managing partners of many law firms run the firms like their own little fiefdoms. In addition to hiring eye candy for support staff, many firms only hire associates from favored law schools, or some other favored group -- if you don't have the right pedigree they won't even look at you. They also won't hire you if they think you're too old.

My advise -- don't even apply to these self-important firms. Its been my experience that in-house corporate legal offices are not as image conscious as the private law firms they work with (its the private attorney's that have to suck up to the corporate employees not the other way around). When I worked at Standard Insurance in Portland the legal and claims departments were full of fat people (kind of ironic, they won't sell fat people policies but they'll hire them). Government legal office -- especially public defense offices -- also seem to hire people of various ages and sizes.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:26 PM   #14
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Thanks bigmac. I'm applying anywhere. I've worked for small firms, big firms and corporate legal departments (AAA insurance's legal department). I've worked for one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. I have impeccable credentials. What SUCKS is that in Michigan right now, for every ONE job posting they receive upwards of 250 resumes in less than 48 hours. It's insane.
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