UALR Job Application Question Raises Eyebrows

UALR Job Application Question Raises Eyebrows

A question on the electronic application form for employment at the University of Arkansas Little Rock appears to be not just odd, but discriminatory.
LITTLE ROCK- A question on the electronic application form for employment at the University of Arkansas Little Rock appears to be not just odd, but discriminatory.

The question asks applicants to identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgender, and some people in the community say it comes across as too personal. Zack Baker is the President for the UALR Alliance and says, it's an issue of privacy. "Why is that question on an application? I don't see the relevance of it."

UALR Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Bob Adams says it's a voluntary question. No one has to answer it, and the reason for it is so the university can diversify the campus. "All that does is generate data for us.  No employee, including the Director of HR, can see how anyone answered that."

Adams says the sexual orientation question is not a factor in employment and just helps collect data for analysis for the variety of the applicants. The question first appeared on the application form in January and so far, Adams says UALR hasn't received any complaints about it. "We have seen about 85 percent of applicants answer it."

But Baker worries despite the intention, the question has the potential to be used against applicants who fear discrimination, and might be hesitant to answer. "In the State of Arkansas you can be discriminated against based on sexual orientation." Until that's no longer the case, Baker feels the question should no longer appear on the job application form. He says it's a sensitive issue for many people and could scare people off from applying, which is the opposite of what the university is trying to achieve.

The information is not publicized and no name is associated with the answer, just a number. Before the question appears, there is a statement on the application clarifying it's strictly voluntary. Adams believes this question will appear more frequently on job applications in the future because he says it helps employers create a more diverse workforce.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus