The excitement wasn’t over after I blogged about my shoes and other critical societal concerns yesterday! Through a process I have yet fully to comprehend, in mid-afternoon I found myself at ABC Studios answering questions about employment law in front of a camera!
Don’t laugh. I have litigated, even tried (successfully, of course!) a number of cases involving employment discrimination. I’m no one-trick-IP-pony.
The issue here was a pending Pennsylvania bill that would prohibit employers from asking job applicants about marital or parental status, which is legal in about half the states. They could not find anyone who would go on camera to explain why an employer would have a fundamentally economic justification to ask such a question — in other words, to go on the record “against motherhood.” So ABC somehow worked its way down the food chain and got to me. (You know what an old hand I am at this!)
I had no trouble saying that. I also think you should be able to ask about religious observance — anything that will affect, or may affect, your degree of commitedness to the job and your ability to be there during the hours for which you were hired.
A very short sound bite, meant mostly to give the impression of balance in a piece that will surely be very anti-employer (i.e., anti-freedom of contract), will probably be on tonight’s World News Tonight with Charles Gibson at 6:30 Eastern time some day, maybe. How I will come out sounding when they’re done dicing and slicing, I have no idea. But I promise you I was brilliant, charming and profound in the studio. Of course.
Oh, and I brushed past a much-taller-than-I-imagined Curtis Sliwa on the 1 train on the way to the studio. Presumably he was on the way from the studio (he does radio there). That’s a good omen, right?