deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
[personal profile] deborah
Kudos to [ profile] tikva for raising the issue of the Watertown Public Library's posted position for a Circulation Supervisor (Wayback Machine link). Tikva brought the illegality of the posting to the attention of the Watertown Public Library on 24 April. As of tonight, 28 April, here's an excerpt from the posted job:

  • Moderate physical effort required in carrying and shelving books, computers and other equipment and in performing other typical library functions
  • Frequent standing, walking, bending, reaching, and climbing
  • Ability to operate a keyboard at an efficient speed
  • Frequently required to sit and talk or hear
  • Must occasionally lift and/or move materials weighing up to 50 pounds
  • Vision and hearing at or correctable to “normal ranges”

Now, I always get mad about ADA violations. But in this case, I'm not just my usual disabled jackass who's angry about ableism. I'm a disabled jackass who:

  • has worked many a circ job, and knows exactly what is and isn't required for the job

  • is deeply over-qualified for this job, which I could knock out of the park (not that they'd be willing to pay someone with an MLS for this position)

  • could not, nonetheless, meet three of their six "Physical Requirements", even though two of them could be adapted with minimal adaptation and the third (listed as "occasionally") with a mild reshuffling of work requirements

  • knows the ADA backwards and forwards, and is well aware of how blazingly illegal this posting is

  • and, oh, has a recently bereaved kindly busybody of a mother who lives in Watertown and is a frequent patron of the Watertown Public Library. This is a woman threatened to sue her own condo association if they didn't build a wheelchair ramp. (Spoiler alert: they folded.)

So I think on this one I'm not going to write up a long angry Illegal Job Requirements 101. I'm going to call in the cavalry.

I'd duck if I were you, Watertown Public Library. Right now the cavalry hasn't got a whole lot of patience for anyone who makes life harder for people with disabilities.

Date: 2015-04-29 11:10 am (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Ultra modern white fabric interlaced to create strong weave (interdependence)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Gods yes, go go go!

In the first decade of ADA, these sort of job descriptions popped up all over. I imagine a sneaky yet ill-informed cohort of lawyers and HR consultants promulgating templates like this as a way to avoid reasonable accommodations. The JAN site might offer some handy legal cites on why the is wrong wrong wrong.


Date: 2015-04-29 02:20 pm (UTC)
amaebi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaebi
Go, cavalry!

I hadn't heard about this sort of thing, but it's certainly not surprising. :(

Date: 2015-04-29 02:46 pm (UTC)
watersword: Keira Knightley, in Pride and Prejudice (2007), turning her head away from the viewer, the word "elizabeth" written near (Default)
From: [personal profile] watersword
YES. Keep us updated!

Date: 2015-04-29 03:50 pm (UTC)
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
From: [personal profile] owlectomy
I've been seeing these kinds of requirements on every job posting these days, often totally out of whack with the real requirements of the job. I am really glad that in this case they're going to get some pushback!

Date: 2015-04-30 01:43 am (UTC)
libskrat: Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. (flamethrower)
From: [personal profile] libskrat
With the several students-with-disabilities I have taught firmly in mind, I say GIVE 'EM HELL.

Date: 2015-04-30 05:51 am (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanguinity
My last employer had stuff like that in most of its job descriptions, and when I asked about it, they said it was so that they could "get credit" for having made accommodations. (This is not me defending that kind of job description, btw: it didn't make sense to me then, and it doesn't make sense to me now.)

Date: 2015-05-02 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jazzyjj
I've not seen that many job descriptions, which I suppose might be a whole nother topic inandof itself. But this definitely doesn't sound legal. Go knock 'em dead!
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