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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-09-2016 05:36 PM
Jenn2 Hi jjba, I'm sorry to hear about your frustrating experience - especially after all your education to get where you are now! I am sure that there is something out there for you and you have been very patient.

Having been in the area of research (though not in food research), perhaps you have some skills that you can use in other areas to expand the type of businesses and positions you can apply to? Statistics? Report writing? Survey methods? Sometimes, a diverse educational background can be attractive to employers. Once you have something, anything that can give you an income and experience, you can take your time applying to your dream jobs in food research. Find companies that you like (and that don't test meat products) and send them your resume to let them know that you are interested...even if they aren't hiring. Don't worry! Things WILL work out for you, just keep an open mind.
03-09-2016 04:00 PM
silva
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjba View Post
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.
They didn't need to say that! If it were discriminatory they only needed to say thank you, but are considering more qualified candidates! Maybe you can get back with them and ask for consideration for other positions, or even networking for other companies.
It was nice of them to say that!
Is your field that food oriented?
03-09-2016 07:04 AM
jjba Yes! Something very similar but with analysis added in there too. I wouldn't have applied to a role where I believed food tasting to be a part of the job because I wouldn't want to waste my time or the employers time. I don't know if I'd want to go down the route of claiming for discrimination even if I knew I definitely could do, as it would cause so much animosity amongst my family (even though my parents, who are very heavy meat eaters, see this as discriminatory) that I'd "be attacking people for not agreeing with my beliefs". I'm definitely someone who tries to keep the peace as much as I can and as long as someone isn't directly disrespectful to me or someone else I'll try and let it go.
03-09-2016 07:03 AM
QuietVegan Another, similar one from the same agency - and the same spelling error!

Despite it being an Admin role the mention of a wide pallet (sic) would appear to indicate some level of food tasting.

https://www.questsearch.co.uk/jobs/q...y-panel-leader
03-09-2016 06:59 AM
QuietVegan Now this one does indicate that you will need to taste food, albeit their spelling of palate is wrong!

JOB DESCRIPTION

A leading food quality and technical team for a UK retailer is currently recruiting a Sensory Panel administrator (must have a passion for food or food qualifications) to help prepare, lead and administer food sample panel testing. This is a key aspect of the business ensuring, quality products are delivered to the customer. You will be leading food sensory panels and must be a strong communicator and be confident to lead a group of panellists.

The Sensory Administrator shall be responsible for the customers / panellists participating in the testing. The role is also responsible for ensuring all customers undertake the assessment in silence and correctly, whilst upon completion of testing ensuring that all feedback is appropriately recorded.

The responsibilities for the role also include: * Leading food sensory panels and discussing results and obtaining true data. * Collating of all data on the product and creation of a report which is understandable and provides detailed feedback. * Preparation of testing facilities. The ideal candidate for this role shall have strong leadership, excellent communication, administration and organisational skills along with experience of working in an administrative role within a team environment. You will also need to be confident at using your own initiative with tasks, along with supporting colleagues on ad hoc projects and tasks, good time management is a must. To be successful in this role, you shall have: * A passion or qualification in food and more importantly a wide pallet. * Strong computer skills, high typing speed is essential (minimum 45 wpm, 75% accuracy rate). * Undertaken food and hygiene training. * The ability to lead and communicate clearly, effectively and think on your feet. If you feel you have the necessary skills, and want to deliver your insights within a leading UK retailer that is held in high regard in the marketplace (along with a LOVE for food), then we would welcome your application.
03-09-2016 06:55 AM
QuietVegan I'm guessing you mean something similar to this. No mention of food tasting mentioned.

Part-time Sensory Panel Assistant

"Do you have an interest in Food Science? Are you looking for a part-time position in London?

MMR Research Worldwide is a global market research agency, offering research solutions to support optimisation in products, packaging and all aspects of branding within food, drink and other FMCG and retail sectors.

An exciting opportunity has arisen to work part-time as a Sensory Panel Assistant based at one of our client’s sensory facilities in xxxxxxxxx for 4 days per week (Monday - Thursday).

You will be responsible for assisting the Sensory Panel Manager in the running of two sensory panels, preparing samples and materials for panel training and profiling and researching, sourcing and managing products for research. You will also arrange panel profiling sessions which involves preparing the Sensory Panel working area appropriately in good time for each session and clearing up afterwards and ensuring that all activities comply with basic food hygiene standards.

This job requires the ability to work well independently under tight timelines. As a member of a small sensory team you will possess excellent organizational, self-management, and attention to detail skills. Ideally a scientific lab, technical research or food service background along with IT literacy is desired. Excellent communication skills and a proactive, can do attitude is essential. Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK with no restrictions."
03-09-2016 06:48 AM
QuietVegan 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.
03-09-2016 06:41 AM
jjba 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
03-09-2016 06:13 AM
QuietVegan 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
03-09-2016 06:06 AM
QuietVegan 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.
03-09-2016 06:03 AM
QuietVegan
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjba View Post
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"

03-09-2016 05:31 AM
jjba 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.
03-09-2016 05:19 AM
jjba 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
03-09-2016 05:04 AM
QuietVegan Out of interest, why did you mention to them that you are vegetarian if it wasn't relevant to the job?
03-09-2016 02:30 AM
silva
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjba View Post
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.
03-09-2016 02:25 AM
silva
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjba View Post
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
03-09-2016 01:36 AM
jjba 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
03-08-2016 05:08 PM
silva 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
03-08-2016 03:18 PM
SteveW 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.
03-08-2016 12:14 PM
Muttley just wait until you join the work force, especially a big food corporation, there will be PLENTY of opportunities to actually feel victimized!
03-08-2016 12:03 PM
Thalassa4 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.
03-08-2016 09:58 AM
jjba 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
03-08-2016 09:36 AM
LedBoots
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuietVegan View Post
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.
03-08-2016 09:18 AM
Kiwibird08 What kind of job are you going for?
03-08-2016 08:41 AM
ModVegan 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.
03-08-2016 07:58 AM
Muttley
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjba View Post
I don't believe would affect my ability to do the job in any way,



except for ....


Quote:
Originally Posted by jjba View Post
.... 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.
03-08-2016 06:52 AM
jjba 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
03-08-2016 05:55 AM
Kiwibird08 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.
03-08-2016 05:01 AM
jjba
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuietVegan View Post
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 :/
03-08-2016 04:59 AM
QuietVegan I wonder if they would also refuse to employ a coeliac or someone with an allergy to fish/eggs/dairy etc.
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