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British Bar Owner Sued for Seeking Employee with Knowledge of British Culture

June 25, 2013

longbowI read an article in the insurance press yesterday that really irritated me.  Here’s the gist.

A British bar in New York was served a $2,500 fine after advertising a position that sought someone with knowledge of British culture.  Bar owners Michael Colbert, originally from Wales, and wife, Jennifer, were fined by the New York City Commission on Human Rights for discrimination violations after the bar last year posted on ad looking for a bartender with specific skills.

“…Energetic and enthusiastic men and women with an appreciation of craft beer,  good food, whisky and real football (aka soccer),”  the Craigslist ad read in part, according to the New York Times. “Being British definitely works in your favor.”

As a result of this ad, The Long Bow Pub & Pantry in Brooklyn, self-proclaimed as New York’s only Welsh bar, paid the fine last week after facing more than $7,500 in fines plus legal costs if it were to take the case to trial,  according to a statement on the bar’s website.

In addition to the fine paid for by the Long Bow, the State of NY required the bar owners to pay for and attend anti-discrimination training classes.

“We were left with no choice yesterday but to accept the original $2,500 offer,” said the statement.  “Free speech is not so free after all it seems.”

“While the Long Bow has enjoyed an enormous amount of free advertising over the past couple of months, it is our hope they … understand that discrimination in this city is illegal and at the end of the day violators will pay,” New York City Human Rights Commissioner Patricia Gatling told the BBC.

OK.  How ridiculous is this?  To me, a British pub seeking an employee with knowledge of British culture is no different than requiring typing skills for a data entry position.  Right?  What am I missing here?  Here is a link to the Long Bow’s blog statement and here is a link to a NYT article.   If I lived in NY I would love to go in for a beer.  Fish & Chips look pretty good, too!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin
 
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