Job Advert: Legal Secretary wanted for three some!

Monday, October 5th, 2009 - Employment, Job Advert, Legal


Job Advert: Legal Secretary wanted for three some!

secretarial

Some times, in the world of employment, you have to wonder how certain things occur.

Take for instance, the May 2009 advert for a legal secretary by Chicago based immigration lawyer Samir Chowan on behalf of his two-lawyer practise. Placed in the Adult section of the online advertising board Craigs List, the ad asked for an “energetic woman” for “general secretarial work, some para-legal work and additional duties for two lawyers.” Chowan requested a resume, photographs and “a description of your physical features, including measurements.”

One woman applied, which Chowan in a follow-up with an eMail outlined that “In addition to the legal work, you would be required to have sexual interaction with me and my partner, sometimes together sometimes separate. This part of the job would require sexy dressing and flirtatious interaction with me and my partner, as well as sexual interaction. When are you available to interview?” the e-mail allegedly read, adding “I am free to interview today.”

The woman didn’t follow up with Chowan, but filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission. The agency is investigating the incident, for which one outcome is that Chowan could be disbarred.

The simple answer in the UK is that employment and advertising law cover both the advert as well as the follow-up employment process. Much as Ann Summers won their case against the Job Centre to advertise their posts, and the Job Centre even advertise escort jobs; both employment and advertising laws ban adverts for jobs encompassing any form of sexual services. Secondly, asking for photographs – unless for a post where such a request could be considered part of the role, such as an entertainment performance – would generally be considered illegal.

Employers beware, and be advised – its not just the advert which could be illegal, its also the follow-up selection process.

Good Luck!

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