Help! I’m Too Beautiful to Get Hired

Recently, I got an e-mail from a reader who was convinced she was getting discriminated against in her job search because she was too attractive. She gave several examples where she said the hiring manager was clearly intimidated by her beauty. A little hard to imagine, right? My immediate reaction was, “Too pretty? Hmmm. I think you may be pretty full of yourself.” That’s until I asked lawyer and discrimination expert, Donna Ballman. Here’s what she shared:

"As a lawyer who has practiced employment law for 25 years, I've definitely seen cases of discrimination based upon beauty. In general, the standards are applied differently based on gender. Although appearance discrimination isn't illegal, sex discrimination most certainly is. When clients (usually female) come to me with this issue, I ask if people of the opposite sex are treated the same. Usually I have beautiful women who are pigeonholed. Assumptions are made that she can't perform certain jobs, but handsome men are happily hired and promoted. The same would apply to men though. If a company hired beautiful women but didn't want handsome men in the same position, that would also be discrimination (you might see this with receptionists, pharmaceutical reps or waitresses as examples).


The other thing I see are women who are not hired or disciplined because their clothing or makeup are not appropriate. That's not illegal. I tell them to cover up and tone it down so they're not a distraction.

One more point - if a sexy woman isn't hired or promoted because the company assumes she'll become a sexual harassment victim, that would also be illegal. It's gender stereotyping. The company has a duty to maintain a workplace that's sexual harassment-free."

That’s why Donna joined me last Friday on "Career Reality TV!" Watch the episode below! Who is Donna Ballman? Donna Ballman is the award-winning author. She's been practicing employment law, including negotiating severance agreements, in Florida since 1986. Her blog on employee-side employment law issues is called, Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home. She has over 2,100 followers on Twitter as @EmployeeAtty. She has taught continuing legal education classes for lawyers and accountants and has published articles on employment law topics such as severance, non-compete agreements, discrimination, sexual harassment, and avoiding litigation. She's been interviewed by MSNBC, Wall Street Journal, Lifetime Television Network, Daily Business Review, and many other media outlets on employment law issues. Wish you could have watched the show live? Sign-up below to receive weekly reminders and updates about "Career Reality TV."
GET E-MAIL UPDATES ABOUT 'CAREER REALITY TV'
J.T. O’Donnell is the founder of CAREEREALISM.com and CEO of CareerHMO.com, a web-based career development company. Photo credit: Shutterstock

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Diane submitted. She has recently worked with a co-worker on a group project. When it came time to present the project at a meeting, Diane let her co-worker present. While it went great, the co-worker proceed to take credit for nearly all of Diane's work. Frustrating to say the least!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Cam submitted. He's been working at a job for awhile, but recently overheard a hiring manager making fun of a candidate with autism right after an interview-not only awkward, but VERY unprofessional!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

Starting a family is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life. It's in those first few months when a parent can really bond with their newborn and make lifelong memories. However, for some new dads, it can be difficult to juggle being a new parent while remaining dedicated to their career.

Fortunately, some companies have generous paternity leave policies that give new dads the ability to take time off of work to stay home with their child.

SHOW MORE Show less

There are LOTS of questions around resume dos and don'ts. There's so much advice out there that it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what's the correct answer.

During our weekly live Office Hours on YouTube, two of our coaches, Ariella Coombs and J.T. O'Donnell, answer questions live from viewers related to their job search, career success, on the job situations and more.

We complied a simple list of what we find to be the most common questions our coaches get about resumes. We hope you find this helpful.

Let's start with the basics...

SHOW MORE Show less

Back in March, we made the hard decision to change our private Facebook group of over 37 THOUSAND members to a fee-based only platform.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if a recruiter called you a day EARLY for your phone interview (and you were NOT PREPARED!)

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less