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“Letter of the Law or Spirit of the Law” and how as a business owner these questions can often land in your lap that have multiple answers and some fall under “Letter of the Law” and others are under the “Spirit of the Law”.
Michelle and JoyGenea talk about a recent situation that really made Michelle question these points a little deeper.

HIGHLIGHTS

1:03 Sorting and reviewing applicants’ credentials

1:43 Background checking through former employer

2:43 Giving opportunity to an applicant 

3:49 Choosing between following or violating the spirit of the law

4:31 Evaluating the pros and cons of interviewing a potential applicant 

6:10 Preparing oneself for job interview

6:53 Various institutions hires a neuro diversified person 

7:42 Coaching and smart presentation of curriculum vitae

8:08 Tricky job questions for selective applicants

9:03 Giving chance and consideration for potential applicants

10:12 Employer does only the interview

11:15 Applicant does the negotiation based on his capabilities

11:45 Letter of the Law vs Spirit of the Law

12:34 Opening up opportunities for the neurodiverse people 

13:54 Welcoming changes and new challenges in employment process

15:36 Finding the path to the next challenge.

TRANSCRIPT

0:04

Hello and welcome to if these heels could talk. I’m JoyGenea with Solutions by JoyGenea and I’m Michelle with Bad Cat Digital and welcome to If These Heels Could Talk.

 

0:16 

Blue and can’t say the name. Is there too much branding welcome? Where is it in the letter of the law? The letter is hey your name as often as possible if these heels to talk and it kind of stupid if these heels could talk. So maybe the letter of the law is a little much, but it’s still very important because there’s a lot of risk for doing illegal things in your business. As an owner , so what’s so sweet. That is our topic. 

 

1:03 Sorting and reviewing applicants’ credentials

I put a job listing out. So HR there’s a lot of laws of nature. I put a job listing out. I got an applicant, who I was very impressed by. I was very impressed on paper. I was very impressed by their wrecked enough boxes that you would like to press by the cover letter. I was, it was professional, well thought through and in and the relevant experience in the resume was exactly what I was looking for myself. This is perfect. I’m bringing this person for an interview. First, I definitely have to talk to this person. nice.

 

1:43 Background checking through former employer

Then I saw the resume of a professional acquaintance of mine who had been her former boss.  Perfect, excellent.  Yep and just in case you’re out there looking for a job just know that your potential employers are talking to all of your previous employers. If your previous employers have very few things they can say correctly and that is because of why law’s, a letter of the law matter, of those small businesses as long as you put it in writing. And you have it like who’s really going anyway I call the person’s former employer. His former employer informs me that this potential employee, who is very excited about, right, has a medical condition that could potentially impact their ability to do the job and or their performance.

 

2:43 Giving opportunity to an applicant 

You can run and hide like most people do because that’s easy. Yes, so might want to try and never tell them. There’s always (a) but see, what I would say is I was excited to talk to them. That violates the spirit of those HR laws. They did not deny people opportunity based on their color, their previous employment status, their religion, their medical needs. This turned out there was a whole list of protective classes.  Disabilities on that list. And if this were somebody that the piece of information I had was one of those other classes. I wouldn’t have any sort of issue.

 

3:29

The accommodations that would be necessary to balance this would be fairly easy; this doesn’t exactly have the same type of accommodations. But I don’t necessarily know that there’s a good thing and. I won’t know that unless I talk to this person and this person tells me. 

 

3:49 Choosing between following or violating the spirit of the law

Discloses, which is their right not to do so here this is and we’re not going to answer my question you ask. Yes that is the letter of the law right so I have to wait a whole bunch of choices. Well I saw two. Before I talked to you this, you know now I see another one and I really like it but I had two choices: either to violate the spirit of the law and not talk to the person I was excited talking about again thereby denying some of the opportunity but in a way that nobody would ever know.

 

4:19

Or B I could follow the letter of the law. And then old myself up. To the appearance that I didn’t follow the letter of the law.

 

4:31 Evaluating the pros and cons of interviewing a potential applicant 

Because the chances of somebody to get of somebody with those who need that kind of accommodation getting the position and being successful in it are fairly low. And I definitely don’t want to set any way up to fail. And then there’s the question of team chemistry like I would have to be really, about my interview which is not my style. No. The energy was very vigilant about the questions that I asked. Me, should they all be even and equal to all of the kids. I would have to make sure that I took really good notes and or recorded the sessions like those things are things that I would need to do and I’m happy to do.

 

5:13

But I’m opening myself up to the risk of appearance, like I didn’t follow the law. In reality, if I just walked away now it wouldn’t appear like anything that I would be in my heart and in my mind and understanding I would be violating the spirit of the law. And adding to that I would also add you might also be missing out on an amazing employee I’ve been absolutely and so what is.

 

5:43 

So this really feels like one of those Ethics 101 questions. Like the train is coming on the tracks and there’s one person sitting in front of it so you saved us from other dress so I’m also coaching young people that are in college or graduating out of college so we, I say we’re because I’m coaching and holding them accountable. We’re applying for a lot of jobs.I didn’t realize that mental health shows up on a lot of job applications.

 

6:10 Preparing oneself for job interview

It really does. There’s a question: yes I have seen it. Do you have any mental health issues and it asks you to check the box okay that’s massively inappropriate that became a question, that became the overriding question. I’m coaching these young people that have no differences right there and some of them are listed so and they’re comfortable with who they are. There is no problem having those conversations. I didn’t but we decided we have stopped doing that and we’ve sought out a couple of different 

 

6:53 Various institutions hires a neuro diversified person 

Institutions to find out what they thought about that and they said you to the algorithms not to we also did research on the companies to see what. Wow how Diversified!  They really work. And if they were on.  There are certain databases that you can access that will tell you if these companies really have already mastered what you’re talking about. They have appropriate interviews, they know how to incorporate. General diversity and mental health.

 

7:42 Coaching and smart presentation of curriculum vitae

There are companies that seek this out, they really do and they know how to handle this so we went to some of those databases. There was one company that one of my client was applying for that fell under that bracket. Okay and because of that we actually changed up for cover letter to highlight this answer check the box and actually she got an interview I think it was because that is part of who they were seeking but the rest of them we finally came to the conclusion that was completely blocking them from getting in the door that much he was not even when we couldn’t.

 

8:08 Tricky job questions for selective applicants

You know when we sat out the services of the college’s they graduated from and talk to their job placement. Yeah yeah, we’re like should they really be answering this? I can’t believe they asked this question. Well they do. And we couldn’t decide, were they asking that question to eliminate candidates or were they asking it to be inclusive? And what would they do with that information cuz they never ask not one of them asked what types of accommodations.

 

8:37

Would you need to do this position? We should have I failed if I’m going to check yes to they’re assuming they’re suing all sorts of things I’m like you don’t know and you’re assuming it because there’s no choice but to assume so that was an interest so this conversation actually it’s really important and it’s coming from two directions it’s I mean it’s crazy so so I will.

 

9:03 Giving chance and consideration for potential applicants

I’m in this conundrum right and room has as and I think I found through through through some common because we are a small community, I know Common People other than the boss the former boss of this person and so alluding to the common people that we know in a phone conversation might get me where I need to go and open up some doors to continue the continue the conversation because frankly it is just flat-out wrong to deny an opportunity at a job.

 

For a job that somebody wants to that person because of something that I don’t know about ya and it is just flat out wrong at the same time.

 

9:48

There are real world. This is not an Ethics classroom. And there are real-world repercussions to the choices that I make in that process, yes. And you have to be conscious and I have to think about it. I have to have both of them so I’m not trying to decide whether it’s wrong or not. I want to be really clear that it’s just flat-out wrong what I’m trying to decide is.

 

10:12 Employer does only the interview

Is it a way that I’m willing to be wrong for a higher purpose and I don’t know the answer to that yet. Because I’m not clear on the higher purpose yet and so I’m just.It’s a difficult situation to be in and I can imagine in this situation a lot of times people feel like. A lot of times you will feel like, when hiring,  the employer has all of the power. Which is not true and I think a lot of people feel that way in jobs in general.

 

10:47

Has all of the Yoda and it’s really not true. Employment, your job, your career is an act of will and consent and when you are. Unless you’re truly in circumstances where you are,

 

11:15 Applicant does the negotiation based on his capabilities

Stuff for other reasons: your job is negotiable, right? What you do; how you do it; what you get paid; how you get paid; who you work for. All of those things are negotiable and all of those things could change. Immediately not overnight but all of those things can change and when you walk into an interview you’re interviewing as a potential employee your interview in the employer is absolutely you should be it did not you should be right and so,

 

11:45 Letter of the Law vs Spirit of the Law

I think the letter of the law is written to assume that the employer has all the power. Yeah but the spirit of the law doesn’t assume that. And so I want to encourage people to think around

 

12:03

Why something is the way it is or why something is written the way it’s written or who it was written for why it was written for that person when it was written all of those things and say to yourself yes I can follow the letter of the slot that’s not a problem at all but I could also live within the spirit of it. And that’s different and sometimes that creates some uncomfortable conundrum. A few weeks ago we were talking about how hiring right now does need to run.

 

12:34 Opening up opportunities for the neurodiverse people 

Part of why we wanted to bring this conversation to the table and ensure it is the fact that there will have to be these uncomfortable pre conversations. If you’re going to have interviews with people that check boxes for mental health or check boxes for neurodiversity or have physical physical extra abilities or disabilities or inabilities yeah or have circumstances that don’t impact the job performance at all but might impact the physical space and all of that.

 

13:10

If you’ve never done it before. It will be new and it will be uncomfortable and you will push up against these letters of the law, spirit of the law, as a lot types of things. And I will also tell you like so many things in life and it just improves after that you get better. The other thing is as small business owners we have the luxury and privilege of.

 

13:37

Doing this ourselves we don’t have to live, we’re not you know the HR manager that you do a 7000 person Corporation, is trying to fill a box answer to their own boss and answers to their own boss managers to their own boss and you know.

 

13:54 Welcoming changes and new challenges in employment process

Somebody for a position or recommend somebody for a position that then an immediate supervisor is mad about because they have to do XY and Z differently. We don’t have that problem. We don’t have the opportunity to solve our labor, our labour challenges with creativity with accommodation, with changing what we think unemployed looks like or sounds like or acts like whether we want to do that or not is up to us. But we have the opportunity to do it in a way that larger corporations just don’t and if it is an opportunity that’s what we’re encouraging you don’t just hit the easy button and you might hit you might choose my daughter’s you’re going to want it but it’s okay about it but yeah I hope this podcast causes you to just think about it and recognized you’re not alone in needing to her wanting to look at this differently and that is part of change so I haven’t I haven’t. 

 

14:51

I don’t know I had, I don’t know the answer to my conundrum. I don’t know and I don’t even know if it is a syndrome that’s the thing. Like so many other things that I think about as a small business owner I don’t even know if their problem.

 

15:04

I don’t even know if there are opportunities. I don’t even know so it’s so how do you make a decision when you don’t even know what the stakes are what the circumstances are four questions and you have more conversations and when you do that with your five people board or you do that with your trusted advisor and adviser that your friend requested advisers you will find path through because it’s not about solving a problem.

 

15:36 Finding the path to the next challenge.

Finding the path to the next challenge. It’s not nothing it doesn’t you never spike the football and as we are as we are training leaders and and now yes I’m helping them understand that this is that you have to find a Cheeseman in the small victories because there is never a spike the football end zone moment where is all good and it’s all done and you don’t have to think about anything else and if you don’t stop and celebrate the small achievements along the way of that past you are going to drive yourself crazy.  You will let me do that’s another. Maybe that’s another technique and tactics for that could be another topic. Thank you so much.

 

16:22

I’m Michelle and I’m Joygenea and you’ll hear us next week have a great weekend everybody.