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Man avoids workplace discrimination by changing his name

A man named "Jose" recently conducted an experiment during his search for work that revealed some interesting -- and perhaps disheartening -- results. The man claims he was applying for every job he was qualified for. He says he was sending out as many as 50 to 100 resumes per day, but he was receiving not any response. As a shot in the dark, he deleted the "s" out of his name, calling himself "Joe" rather than "Jose." As many Florida workers who have been victimized by workplace discrimination might be interested to hear, the next week, "Joe's" email inbox was full of responses from interested employers.

Studies have shown that employers discriminate against names that appear Latino or black when they review job applications. Whether that discrimination is conscious or subconscious is unknown. However, a widely distributed study showed that people who have Caucasian-sounding monikers tend to get a 50 percent better response rate than those whose names appear to indicate a black person.

According to "Joe," he is convinced that if he had not dropped the "s" from his name, he would not have gotten responses from potential employers. He said that, in his opinion, people are not actually aware that they are judging others, but it is likely that they likely are. He suggested that all of us are doing it all the time.

Florida job applicants who can successfully prove in court that they were denied access to a job opportunity as a result of workplace discrimination may be entitled to financial remedies under the law. The strength of such a claim will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding the denial of employment or the denial of opportunity. Under state and federal laws, it is unlawful to discriminate against any individual on the basis of their race, sex, religion or nationality.

Source: The Huffington Post, "He Dropped One Letter In His Name While Applying For Jobs, And The Responses Rolled In", Cate Matthews, Sept. 2, 2014

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