A fitness center in Taipei has been fined NT$150,000 (US$5,010) by the Taipei City Department of Labor for discrimination after the center posted a recruitment advertisement that asked for an “outgoing, good-looking, smiling female clerk.”
The department said on Friday that although the fitness center argued that it wanted to hire a woman because it needed a female clerk to serve female customers, the department found that serving female clients is not one of the post’s regular responsibilities.
As a result, it imposed a NT$150,000 fine on the center for discrimination in accordance with the Employment Service Act (就業服務法).
The department said that employment discrimination included discrimination based on age, gender, appearance, past union membership and marital status.
While most ads do not use discriminatory words, discriminatory techniques can often be found hidden in the job description, with phrases such as “good-looking” or “must have completed compulsory military service” frequently used.
The department’s Employment Security section chief Liu Chia-hung (劉家鴻) said that ads are examined on a case-by-case basis.
An employer suspected of discrimination will be requested to explain itself, and then the Department of Labor would make a judgement based on the evidence, Liu said.
For example, a male job seeker was refused a custodian position at a wholesaler because the employer said that the company was looking for women, Liu said.
However, the department looked into the case and found that the custodian was in charge of cleaning the ladies’ restrooms, and female customers had complained about male custodians cleaning the ladies’ room.
The department consequently ruled in favor of the employer.