Wednesday, June 08, 2005

When Is A Job Offer Not A Job Offer?

When the applicant changes sex in the middle of the process? This is what happened to David Schroer, according to this week-old story:

The job candidate interviewing to be a terrorism research analyst at the Library of Congress seemed to have exceptional qualifications: a 25-year Army veteran and former Special Forces commander who spent a career hunting terrorists and often personally briefed the vice president, defense secretary or Joint Chiefs of Staff on sensitive operations.

The interviews and salary talks went well for David Schroer. A job offer followed, and he accepted. Then the new employee brought up one last item: Once work began, the name would be Diane, not David.

The job offer, Schroer said, was rescinded the next day.

This case is unlikely to be about sex discrimination in the traditional sense though who knows for sure. But I suspect that it's about discrimination against transgendered individuals. I can't think of any nondiscriminatory reasons for rescinding the offer unless the medical operations Schroer is going to have done to transition would mean that she would lose lots of time from work. Otherwise, whether it's Diane or David shouldn't matter. It's the same skills and knowledge that are being employed.