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Exxon Trapped by Paired Resume Test

Today’s LA Times reports that Exxon Mobil Corporation got caught giving preferential treatment to a less qualified, but non-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi sexual, transgender) candidate for an administrative assistant position. The complaint was recently filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. It appears that Exxon has received a negative 25 score on the Human Right Campaign scoring list. Most other firms were listed at plus 80 or higher.

The complaint indicates that Exxon had confirmed receiving both fake applications, where were sent in response to a December listing for a job in Illinois. One had a higher grade point and was active in LGBT groups while the other had a lower gpa and was shown as only having activity in a “feminist” student group. The latter got more call backs.

We have used the “paired resume” technique in this firm with amazing results in employment and residency discrimination  ! In a recent case, it was alleged that a very large senior citizen facility was not accepting minority applicants for residency. We actually sent in a black couple and a few hours later (so that they would be interviewed and toured by the same manager – managers cover weekend tours of the facility–a Caucasian couple. The difference in treatment was nothing short of amazing! The black couple were told that the facility was “full” and there was a waiting list. They were denied a tour and refused printed literature. The Caucasian couple were given the full tour, brochures, told there was immediate occupancy and received several follow-up phone calls (which probably included have a free meal with us!).

The case actually was an employment, not residency, case. The paired application test was to prove our clients’ allegations that the residence had an illegal policy, thus giving teeth to our client’s testimony that she had protested management instructions to turn away minority applicants. In California, employment discrimination can be based on violations of the California Government Code, which includes both housing and employment discrimination. Additionally, California Labor Code 1102.5 prohibits discrimination based on a reasonable, even if mistaken, belief that discrimination has occurred.

As always, this blog is not meant to convey legal advise and should be considered educational only. We practice employment law throughout California. Give us a call and lets talk. Steve Danz