One man's poor word choice led to a steep fine after he posted a help wanted ad on Craigslist: A judge recommended a penalty of $5,000 in June after a restaurateur posted on Craigslist that his business was hiring a "waitress."
The New York City Commission on Human Rights charged Sebastian Rozario with discrimination based on gender by posting an employment advertisement searching for a "waitress with barista experience."
The ad on Craigslist said: "We are a small 20 seating [sic] restaurant in East village,Brooklyn. We are looking for experienced waitress who can makecappucinno [sic] and has general barista experience as well. Goodfood and wine. Potential for good tips if you can sell the items on the menu. We appreciate a team player who has positive energy.Please be dependable. Please forward your resume with contactdetails and availability. All the best in your endeavors."
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A tester from the Commission sent two dummy e-mails responding to the post -- one with a male name and one with a female name. Neither e-mail was opened. The Commission employee then recommended that the Law Enforcement Bureau subpoena Craigslist for the poster's info; Craigslist agreed, and the Commission staff attorney attempted to contact Rozario, who hung up and would not return calls. Rozario also did not show up to a scheduled pre-trial conference.
The judge recommended a $5,000 and anti-discrimination training for Rozario and his staff.
A spokesperson for the Commission said the case is still pending final adjudication and that the office cannot comment at this time. She also referred to a section of NYC Human Rights Law that states: "For any employer, labor organization or employment agency or an employee or agent thereof to declare, print or circulate or cause to be declared, printed or circulated any statement, advertisement or publication, or to use any form of application for employment or to make any inquiry in connection with prospective employment, which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation or alienage or citizenship status, or any intent to make any such limitation, specification or discrimination."