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-   -   Not given job because I'm vegetarian? (https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/11-vegetarian-support-forum/204841-not-given-job-because-im-vegetarian.html)

jjba 03-08-2016 04:32 AM

Not given job because I'm vegetarian?
 
I applied and interviewed for a role and I've been told that the sole reason I didn't get the job is because I'm a vegetarian and the role apparently involves handling and tasting meat products. I don't have a problem with handling meat, as though I view it as a dead animal rather than food, I don't see that it is contributing to more animal suffering as those people would cook it themselves anyway. I also don't see how it could be a requirement to eat meat for a job.

Is it even allowed that they can refuse employment on this reason? They otherwise felt I was a great fit, and I feel kind of victimised for having a compassionate belief

QuietVegan 03-08-2016 04:50 AM

What exactly is the job?

If part of the job specification is that you have to taste test meat products and you refuse to do so then you are not suitable for the job.

Muttley 03-08-2016 04:52 AM

What sort of job? if you were given the job and it was alluded to during the interview that you would be consuming meat and hadn't told them you were a vegetarian, would you be able to fulfill all of the roles of that job which apparently involves eating meat? lots of different jobs out there with different requirements, cant really fault them for not hiring you if you cant fulfill the requirements.

jjba 03-08-2016 04:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QuietVegan (Post 3929473)
What exactly is the job?

If part of the job specification is that you have to taste test meat products and you refuse to do so then you are not suitable for the job.

It was in food research, at no point during the (very thorough) interview was a need to taste test the products being researched mentioned. Only when the interviewer mentioned it would be good for me to come along and be a participant to see if I would really be interested did I even mention my vegetarianism.

QuietVegan 03-08-2016 04:53 AM

Also, what country do you live in? Anti-discrimination laws obviously vary according to country, even according to State if you are in the US.

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/can-c...eat-71908.html

jjba 03-08-2016 04:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Muttley (Post 3929481)
What sort of job? if you were given the job and it was alluded to during the interview that you would be consuming meat and hadn't told them you were a vegetarian, would you be able to fulfill all of the roles of that job which apparently involves eating meat? lots of different jobs out there with different requirements, cant really fault them for not hiring you if you cant fulfill the requirements.

At no point in the interview was consuming meat for the job role mentioned, only the preparation, which I'm personally okay with.

QuietVegan 03-08-2016 04:59 AM

I wonder if they would also refuse to employ a coeliac or someone with an allergy to fish/eggs/dairy etc.

jjba 03-08-2016 05:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QuietVegan (Post 3929529)
I wonder if they would also refuse to employ a coeliac or someone with an allergy to fish/eggs/dairy etc.

I thought the same thing, or even if my vegetarianism was a result of religious reasons. If I'm honest I feel like maybe I left and they all had a discussion about how they wouldn't want to work with a vegetarian or something, as it wasn't mentioned once that I'd need to consume the products being tested :/

Kiwibird08 03-08-2016 05:55 AM

Vegetarians/vegans who are so by choice (instead of those who are for allergy reasons or religious reasons) are not a protected class, and therefore a employer can choose not to hire based on that fact. Not every group can be a protected class. I will say, if they have that kind of attitude, would you *really* want to work in such an environment? Setting yourself up to be in a hostile work environment if you ask me. I'd just take it as a sign it wasn't meant to be and look for more accepting places.

jjba 03-08-2016 06:52 AM

I know that's the way that I should see it but I've been unemployed for 8 months so that's easier said than done, really disappointing to have had a really positive interview but be dismissed on something that I don't believe would affect my ability to do the job in any way, I have emailed to let them know that I don't have a problem with working around meat products, in case there was a misunderstanding there, but if not then I guess you're right and I should let it go and get back to hunting for a job :(

Muttley 03-08-2016 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjba (Post 3929585)
I don't believe would affect my ability to do the job in any way,




except for ....


Quote:

Originally Posted by jjba (Post 3929457)
.... the role apparently involves handling and tasting meat products. .



I hate to see people out of work and not being able to find a job, but this sounds like a strictly business decision, not one based on your ethics. When I used to be in the position of interviewing/ hiring people to work in my business groups, it was highly discouraged to start people who's personality or behaviors could cause hostile or separatist environments, simply for the fact, someone could turn around and sue for realistically any reason these days. so it could be, they may have in fact genuinely liked you and thought you were a good candidate, but if part of the job was to taste animal products, you, (not specifically you, but you as in a potential employee) could say, ' no I don't eat meat, you cant make me eat meat and if you fire me, i'll sue' . keeping you will make things potentially hostile along with not being able to fulfill the job requirements, as well as makes the boss who hired you look bad... which is probably what they are worried about.

ModVegan 03-08-2016 08:41 AM

Interesting. Here in Canada, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has been considering protecting ethical veganism as a creed, since it's a sincerely held belief that impacts all areas of a person's life. Doing so would protect vegans from employment discrimination, etc.

Still, if eating meat is part of the job description, than obviously you probably wouldn't qualify, but it's definitely discrimination if eating the food isn't required.

Kiwibird08 03-08-2016 09:18 AM

What kind of job are you going for?

LedBoots 03-08-2016 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QuietVegan (Post 3929529)
I wonder if they would also refuse to employ a coeliac or someone with an allergy to fish/eggs/dairy etc.

Or someone with religious beliefs against meat eating, or pigs or whatever.

jjba 03-08-2016 09:58 AM

This job (and most of the other ones I'm applying to) are research based roles, I'm a graduate and that's what I did at uni, and a lot of my uni projects were about foods, I know I live in a meat-eating world so I've never been under the impression that I'd be able to walk into a food based research role at the beginning of my career and not work around meat at all, but I know I'd learn a lot and hopefully then be able to use that knowledge to help vegan/vegetarian brands in the future. As I've said, until after my thank you email the mention of having to try foods wasn't ever mentioned so I'd assumed it wouldn't be a problem, I even asked if there was anything that they thought would make me unsuitable and the end of the interview, as I knew this would give an opportunity for them to find out if my beliefs would affect my ability in the role but they said there wasn't anything. Just really disappointed really as it would have been a great opportunity and sad that not eating animal flesh is seen as a bad thing in any circumstances

Thalassa4 03-08-2016 12:03 PM

Hmmm...I don't think this is discrimination. I'm a practical person for the most part, despite being a veg*n eco-warrior and advocate of human rights, I have a die hard practical streak, and I'm thinking that you should have some common sense about a position that requires handling and tasting meat, as a vegetarian. It's like if you couldn't lift more than 50 lbs and applied for a job with heavy lifting. You simply aren't suited.

Muttley 03-08-2016 12:14 PM

just wait until you join the work force, especially a big food corporation, there will be PLENTY of opportunities to actually feel victimized! :D

SteveW 03-08-2016 03:18 PM

Think about it from the employers point of view, they're not going to take a risk on someone who they know doesn't agree with the principles of their business. It's easier for them to employ someone who doesn't give a crap about dead animals.

silva 03-08-2016 05:08 PM

Saying you're a vegetarian for a job that involves preparing meat is like saying you dislike kids for a job at a day care! Or you're an atheist for a job teaching at a Catholic school
Really they don't have to give reason for not hiring you, or in most places, for firing you. I remember my last job everyone had to sign a paper agreeing to that

jjba 03-09-2016 01:36 AM

Next time I'm asked why I'm unemployed now, I can just be like "because I care about animals, the planet and people". Sounds so ridiculous, 99% of jobs out there aren't ones which I agree with morally, and if I only applied to those I did, I'd apply to about 1 a week, so fed up of living in such a brainwashed world I feel like I'm on the brink of a breakdown about it most of the time

silva 03-09-2016 02:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjba (Post 3930361)
Next time I'm asked why I'm unemployed now, I can just be like "because I care about animals, the planet and people". Sounds so ridiculous, 99% of jobs out there aren't ones which I agree with morally, and if I only applied to those I did, I'd apply to about 1 a week, so fed up of living in such a brainwashed world I feel like I'm on the brink of a breakdown about it most of the time

But you say you're willing to do the job. You need better interviewing skills.
Look at it from the companies point of view.
Many people are employed in industries that in on way or another compromise their values.
You have a short time in an interview to show the company you have what they want. Unless being a vegetarian goes with the job, leave it out

silva 03-09-2016 02:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjba (Post 3930361)
Next time I'm asked why I'm unemployed now, I can just be like "because I care about animals, the planet and people". Sounds so ridiculous, 99% of jobs out there aren't ones which I agree with morally, and if I only applied to those I did, I'd apply to about 1 a week, so fed up of living in such a brainwashed world I feel like I'm on the brink of a breakdown about it most of the time

No, please don't use that as an excuse- it's not.
Learn to sell yourself according to the particular job you're interviewing for.
Take cues from the interviewer. Go with the flow.

QuietVegan 03-09-2016 05:04 AM

Out of interest, why did you mention to them that you are vegetarian if it wasn't relevant to the job?

jjba 03-09-2016 05:19 AM

They asked me to come and be a participant in their research so I could get a good idea if I really wanted the job or not, and the piece of research was for a new pulled pork coating so I had to mention that I wouldn't be able to participate but could perhaps ask a family member (who are all meat eaters) to do so and I could observe

jjba 03-09-2016 05:31 AM

I had to mention that I don't eat meat, otherwise I wouldn't have said anything about it. They emailed to say that they would have taken me on, and stated: "you were an exceptional candidate for the role and were very impressive at expressing oneself for someone with little experience in the professional world, however the role does include tasting all of the products we research, including meat products", yet apparently I have bad interviewing skills? Cheers. I've struggled in getting employment because I had choice in my degree and ended up making it very specific, meaning there's few jobs that I am the most qualified for out of the applicants.

QuietVegan 03-09-2016 06:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjba (Post 3930537)
I had to mention that I don't eat meat, otherwise I wouldn't have said anything about it.

I don't understand.

I thought you said there was nothing said about tasting meat products until you told them you were vegetarian?

"It was in food research, at no point during the (very thorough) interview was a need to taste test the products being researched mentioned."

"At no point in the interview was consuming meat for the job role mentioned, only the preparation, which I'm personally okay with."

" If I'm honest I feel like maybe I left and they all had a discussion about how they wouldn't want to work with a vegetarian or something, as it wasn't mentioned once that I'd need to consume the products being tested"

:confused:

QuietVegan 03-09-2016 06:06 AM

Ooops - sorry I missed your post just before that one.

Unfortunately it would appear that tasting meat products IS a part of the job, so if you refuse to do that then you aren't suitable I'm afraid.

QuietVegan 03-09-2016 06:13 AM

To be honest, they should have made it clear in their advert and job description that food tasting was a requirement.

For example this advert that clearly states:

"Unfortunately, if you have any dietary restrictions (e.g. you are a vegetarian), food intolerances / allergies or have any medical conditions or take medication that may result in dietary restrictions, this position will not be suitable as sensory panellists are required to taste a varying range of products depending on projects. Panellists may have to consume a concentrated amount of caffeine, alcohol and acidic drinks meaning that individuals with heart problems or who take medication relating to the thinning of the blood will not be suitable for this position."

(Sensory Panellist, Reading Uni)

http://www.mmr-research.com/careers

jjba 03-09-2016 06:41 AM

I would totally understand if I was applying to be a food panelist, but that wasn't the job role, it was to be the person observing food panelists/ analyse the data that comes from the panel, there is no need to try all products to do this job which is why it wasn't mentioned during the interview. I think that they just decided they didn't want to work with a vegetarian and didn't mention anything at the end of the interview so that they could look up whether they were allowed to not employ me based on my dietary choice

QuietVegan 03-09-2016 06:48 AM

Where do you live? If it's the UK I would take advice from someone who has studied employment law. Not sure of the laws re: discrimination in other areas of the world.

They have clearly stated in their email to you that they cannot offer you the posts due to the 'tasting' issue. If you can prove that's not part of the advertised role then you could claim discrimination.

It should be clearly stated in the job description if tasting is involved due to people with dietary allergies/religious restrictions.


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