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Division on Civil Rights Settles One Discrimination-in-Hiring Case, Issues Partial Finding of Probable Cause in Another

New Jersey

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division on Civil Rights announced today that an Essex County restaurant has agreed to pay the State a civil penalty and implement policy and training reforms to settle allegations it violated the law by posting a help wanted sign that specifically sought only male applicants.

NY Gyro King, Inc., a middle-eastern restaurant located in Bloomfield, has agreed to pay a $1,000 penalty, train its managers and staff on the Law Against Discrimination (LAD), and adopt a written anti-discrimination policy that includes information about how to file a complaint with DCR. NY Gyro King posted a help wanted sign in April that specified it was seeking “MALES ONLY.”

In a separate case, the Attorney General Grewal and the Division also announced that the Division issued a Finding of Probable Cause against a Bergen County telecommunications company, Skyzir Distributions LLC of Fort Lee, for placing a help wanted ad seeking a Human Resources Manager which specified: “female candidate preferable.”

“These cases should serve as a message to employers throughout New Jersey that we are committed to ensuring equality in hiring,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Save for a relatively few circumstances in which gender is a bona fide occupational qualification for a job, employers have a duty to extend equal opportunity in the recruiting process, the job application process, and the hiring process. When they fail to do so, we will hold them accountable.”

“Employers cannot base employment decisions on generalizations about what men or women are interested in or capable of,” said DCR Director Rachel Wainer Apter. “All New Jersey residents must be able to pursue their own talents and passions without artificial limits imposed by gender stereotyping.”

NY Gyro King posted the “MALES ONLY” help wanted sign on April 20. The sign prompted a flurry of criticisms and complaints on social media, and generated news media coverage as well. A manager at the restaurant subsequently told media outlets the sign was posted because aspects of the job involved lifting heavy boxes and unloading shipments.

In the other case Skyzirs, a privately-owned telecommunications company that offers consulting services, advertised on in October 2015 for a Human Resources Manager/Recruiter and posted the following to describe the desired candidate:

“working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources or related field; possess and exhibit strong and genuine interest in working with people, ability to interact at all levels of the organization; ability to handle confidential and sensitive information; and detail oriented with excellent written and verbal communication skills – Female candidate preferable.”

One of Skyzirs’ two co-owners told the Division that he was “thinking HR is best with a female because it’s a media stereotype” that females are better at secretarial work.

A Partial Finding of Probable Cause does not resolve a civil rights complaint. Rather, it means the State has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support a reasonable suspicion that New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) has been violated.