Alison Birch is a hair salon owner from the UK that runs AJ’s Unisex salon located in Stroud, Gloucestershire. The owner was left stunned after she was told that she is not allowed to place a job advert for a ‘happy’ new stylist because the word is, apparently, ‘discriminatory’ against unhappy people.
Yes, you read that right.
An official at her local job center told Alison that she couldn’t ask for happiness as a required quality for her new employee because it would discriminate against unhappy people.
This is what her initial ad said:
“Part time fully qualified hairdresser, must be confident in barbering as well as all aspects of hairdressing, must have at least 5 years experience working in a salon, after being fully qualified. This is a busy friendly small salon, so only happy, friendly stylist need apply.”
The 54-year-old has been running the business for the past 20 years, and she first thought that it was a ‘wind up’. However, it turned out to be true, as the Find a Job Service called her to inform her that she couldn’t run her advert.
This is what the mom-of-three posted on the Facebook page after the ordeal:
Conversation I have had today on the phone:
Hi is that Alison Birch.
Yes it is.
Hi, I am from the job…
Alison questioned if she was being too sensitive, and if the word ‘happy’ is really discriminative. Or has the whole world just gone mad?
Most of Alison’s customers agreed with her outrage, and believe that the job center’s stance on her advert is ridiculous.
What’s your take on this one? Do you believe the word ‘happy’ is too discriminatory, especially when looking for an employee? Feel free to discuss the matter in the comments.