Job posting at West Acres Orange Julius stirs controversy
FARGO - A job posting for a Fargo business has some wondering if the owner is discriminating, or even breaking the law.When a recent job post for Orange Julius at the West Acres mall popped up online, it raised a few eyebrows. The post requires a...
FARGO – A job posting for a Fargo business has some wondering if the owner is discriminating, or even breaking the law.
When a recent job post for Orange Julius at the West Acres mall popped up online, it raised a few eyebrows. The post requires applicants to be U.S.-born and speak English as a primary language.
Some legal professionals say this line is discriminatory.
"North Dakota and Minnesota both have laws which say an employer can't discriminate against employees or those who they'd be hiring to work for that employer," said attorney Lee Grossman.
He said one of the areas of employment law protected by North Dakota and Minnesota includes national origin. The North Dakota Human Rights Act and Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars employers from refusing to hire based on nationality.
Language is a different story though.
"Sometimes it's necessary to speak English or Spanish or whatever language for the job," Grossman said.
Mike Stevens, the store’s owner, said he wasn't trying to hurt anyone. He said he just wanted make sure he had qualified applicants who could communicate easily.
Even so, posts like this can mean serious fines from the Department of Labor. Stevens has since changed the posting after being told it's illegal.
"There may be some forgiveness on discrimination practice if the employer does take steps to fix it," Grossman ssid.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page Friday, Feb. 17, West Acres said it was “deeply disappointed” in the U.S.-born requirement included in the job posting and asked store management to remove it.
“We strive to create an environment where everyone feels welcome, appreciated, and safe, and it is at our utmost value that equal opportunities are created and upheld. Although our tenants act independently, we feel it is our responsibility to bring attention to situations in which our customers or future employees would not feel welcomed,” the statement from West Acres said.
Stevens described his current workforce as "diverse," with employees from many different backgrounds.