Job hunting in San Juan? ‘Pleasing personality’ no longer a must
JOB VACANCY advertisements that require applicants to be “single,” “fair skinned” and “with a pleasing personality” are now a no-no—at least in San Juan City.
The local government is also penalizing schools that reject enrollees just because they can’t present their baptismal certificate or their parents’ marriage contract.
Unanimously passed by the city council, “The Anti-Discrimination Ordinance of San Juan City” was signed last week by Mayor Guia Gomez. It aims “to promote equality and actively eliminate all forms of discrimination that violate the equal protection of human rights as enshrined in the Bill of Rights and other existing laws, as well as international conventions.”
The measure served notice to business establishments or educational institutions that would discriminate against any person based on his or her sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, ethnicity, religion, health status, age and physical attributes.
The author, Councilor Angelo Agcaoili, said it should address complaints against long-held biases especially in the workplace, which start in the selection of employees when companies specify certain physical traits as a must for applicants.
Agcaoili cited job postings that require recruits to be good looking and having a fair complexion and a pleasing personality. “[Those requirements] are discriminatory. Does it mean that when you’re not good looking, you can’t work efficiently?” he said in an interview.
The company’s right to identify the qualities an applicant must possess is still recognized, “but these must be directly connected” to the job being offered, he said. The company should “prove that the qualifications are directly related or relevant to the nature of its operations.”
The ordinance also prohibits the inclusion of age, health status, sexual orientation and gender identity in the criteria for hiring, promoting and dismissing an employee, as well as in determining his or her compensation.
As to the provisions on schools and universities, Agcaoili recalled how a parent reported to him two years ago that her child wasn’t able to enroll in a private school because she couldn’t present a copy of her marriage contract.
“Does it mean that when you’re a non-Catholic, you don’t have the right to enroll in the school of your choice? Does it also mean that when a child’s parents are not married, he is not welcome to the school? I don’t think it’s the child’s fault if he’s illegitimate or his parents aren’t married,” said the councilor, who is also a lawyer.
Violators of the ordinance will be issued a warning for the first offense. A second offense carries a fine of P3,000; and a third, P5,000. Concerned company or school officials also face jail time of 10 to 20 days.
The city government is also obliged to provide legal representation for complainants, from the documentation of the case, its filing, and up to the ensuing hearings.
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