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Job discrimination

Old 09-14-09, 09:31 AM
  #26  
bike2math
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I think the issue may be more not having a drivers license than the bike. They are left wondering for what reason you don't have a license, not needing one of course not being something that enters the picture for them, and are left to conclude that there is some disaster either financial, medical, or alcohol-drug that forces you from the typical transportation choices. So, even though it is ethically questionable to do so, they conclude that they would rather go with a safer bet.

Speaking from experience, working with a co-worker with an alcohol problem really sucks and I'm guessing being the manager of one is even worse, so in a sense I see why they might be wary around what they see as signs pointing to this.

I'm not saying it is right, I'm just saying that I think this is where they are coming from. My suggestion would be to, if at all possible, get a DL. Failing that, get the state issued id, and use that number anywhere it says to put your DL #.
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Old 09-14-09, 11:45 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by bike2math View Post
my suggestion would be to, if at all possible, get a dl. Failing that, get the state issued id, and use that number anywhere it says to put your dl #.
+1
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Old 09-14-09, 12:44 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Chuck G View Post
+1
Originally Posted by bike2math View Post
My suggestion would be to, if at all possible, get a DL. Failing that, get the state issued id, and use that number anywhere it says to put your DL #.
I have an ID#, I've used it. If you use it in place of a drivers license number when they do the background check they find out and you are turned down for falsifying information that you had to swear was true. I've been down that road. I'm just going to seek work from employers that don't require this. The point of my post was not for advice but to find out how many other cyclists have run across this problem as I stated in my OP and to see how common it is in other parts of the country/world. It's getting to be the norm around here (South Florida) and I have found several other people locally that have experienced the same situation.
With unemployment at an all time high around here, It's an employers market and they can be very choosy and also offer rock bottom pay scale and get away with it. Many of the job openings are offering half of what they were paying one or two years ago and of course the cost of living keeps increasing. but that's actually irrelevant to my post.

Last edited by cybersynaptics; 09-14-09 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 09-14-09, 12:51 PM
  #29  
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What sort of job is this? If it is for a position that requires driving, then this thread is misleading.
Presuming that it's not, nope... never had this issue ever. Even when I started working. And at my current place, a few of us in our group ride bikes including the manager and director.
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Old 09-14-09, 12:57 PM
  #30  
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nothing wrong with using your bike to go to work but...

a driver's license is very useful for lots of applications. you may not care but the other people will. this may not be rational but that's how it is.

my suggestion is to stick to your bike but go ahead and get a driver's license for the sake of having it even if you don't drive a motored vehicle.
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Old 09-14-09, 01:02 PM
  #31  
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I'm required to have a license but everything else is up to me. I frequently need to drive, but they have the cars so I use those after biking in.
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Old 09-14-09, 01:06 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by wunderkind View Post
What sort of job is this? If it is for a position that requires driving, then this thread is misleading.

Originally Posted by cybersynaptics View Post
which has nothing to do with the requirements of the job as there is no driving involved for the work to be done.
Have any of you ever experienced this behavior before from potential employers?
Stated in the original post



Originally Posted by cybersynaptics View Post
The point of my post was not for advice but to find out how many other cyclists have run across this problem as I stated in my OP and to see how common it is in other parts of the country/world.
Again please, I'm not seeking advice.

Last edited by cybersynaptics; 09-14-09 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 09-14-09, 01:07 PM
  #33  
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Something's missing here. I can't imagine how this would even come up.
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Old 09-14-09, 02:10 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by sanitycheck View Post
So renew the license.

In California, you need proof of insurance to renew your license. Is that car-centric or what? It practically forces you to buy a car because the insurance rates for insuring the driver alone are very high.
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Old 09-14-09, 03:01 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
In California, you need proof of insurance to renew your license. Is that car-centric or what? It practically forces you to buy a car because the insurance rates for insuring the driver alone are very high.


that's nuts! someoen should bring a challenge against that law. i can see it for registering a vehicle i guess...

i'm lucky, my boss finds it endlessly amusing that i ride to work. and so did the last one! she seemed concerned that i was riding in the rain over the weekend ( first time i've gone by bike in heavy rain, and it was great!)
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Old 09-14-09, 03:32 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by sanitycheck View Post
So renew the license. Even if you go years at a time without getting behind the wheel of a car, there's no harm in being licensed to drive one. If you have a license number to write on job applications, prospective employers will stop pestering you about it. Granted, it really is none of their damned business, but the license also makes you more versatile, in case you encounter an unexpected situation where driving would actually be useful. Hey, it could happen...
I do not want to be on the road next to a car driven by someone who goes years at a time without driving.
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Old 09-14-09, 03:44 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by truman View Post
Besides the 'reliable transportation' aspect, people are looking for employees that will be 'easily managed'. They have to think they understand the prospective employee.

In most of the country, transportational cyclists are considered at least a little odd, and are therefore less desirable to hire than a solid middle of the roader.
+1

This is exactly why I was fired from my last job. Employers love complacent people who they can squeeze every last bit of productivity out of: "Sure, I'll come in 10 minutes early and stay 30 minutes late every day; I don't need time to see my family or do things around the house. You won't pay me overtime since I'm salaried? Even better!" I'd bet that a high percentage of bike commuters are more independent and harder to quell than the average person.

I'm a carfree, year-round bicycle commuter with an independent nature and that didn't jive with the "corporate slave" job I was in.

Last edited by hairyman; 09-15-09 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 09-14-09, 03:46 PM
  #38  
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In California, in order to renew vehicle registration proof of insurance is required. The insurance company will contact CA DMV if insurance lapses and DMV will terminate registration if no current proof of insurance on vehicle.

I do not know who started the rumor about CA DL requiring insurance.
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Old 09-14-09, 04:01 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
In California, you need proof of insurance to renew your license. Is that car-centric or what? It practically forces you to buy a car because the insurance rates for insuring the driver alone are very high.
I encountered this in both Ohio and Texas. In both cases I only had to sign an affidavit that I didn't own a car and which also acknowledged that I was aware that when I did drive a car I was required to have proof of financial responsibility. I would be surprised if CA didn't have a similar option; there's gotta be people in San Francisco or San Diego without a car but with a DL, of course ymmv.

* to the op: I missed that you weren't asking for advice sorry. My impression of the way upper management and HR people are thinking (from experience and from knowing them), is that a current DL is evidence that the potential employee can at least figure out how not to DWI, which a surprisingly large number of people can't seem to figure out. In addition for the jobs I've had, I'm sure it made the necessary background checks more thorough. Heck I think one company even checked my driving record; I'm sure evidence of massively irresponsible driving would have counted against me. However, I've had a current DL since I was in HS; so I've never tried going sans-DL on the job hunt.

I've always appreciated the option of renting a car for the week of a job interview so that I can run all the silly errands associated with this: repairing shoes, pressing suit, buying a new tie-shirt, making copies, hair cut, etc. as well as getting to the interview in the best possible appearance. I've had a crash that left me with a raspberry on my upper lip that would have been extremely rough during an interview week - fight club anyone? Of course I also often end up flying for my interviews.
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Old 09-14-09, 04:08 PM
  #40  
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I've been employing people a my shop for 33 years and I could give rats ass how you get to work.You can walk on your hands if you want....but don't be late.

I wouldn't work for somebody that treated me like that.

Last edited by Booger1; 09-14-09 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 09-14-09, 05:05 PM
  #41  
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There's an episode in the last season of Mad Men where two guys go on a business trip to LA.

The Manhattanite can't drive but the guy from the suburbs is obviously able to. It gets a little bit annoying for the manhattanite when the driver leaves him alone though...

I don't see a good reason not to have a drivers license if you are capable since the fees are not very high (you don't have to carry insurance if the only cars you drive are rentals). If you seriously don't know how...it might not be worth paying someone to teach you. For everyone else though, I can see an employer wanting you to be able to drive if there is any chance you might have to travel. Even if not, it is nice to have one in case you need to rent a u-haul or there is an emergency and you have to say...drive a friend to the hospital (in their own car)
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Old 09-14-09, 05:53 PM
  #42  
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Employers also check your credit score. Both having a license and having a reasonable credit score are used as signs of a certain level of responsibility. They figure if you can manage to find a way home from the bar without getting arrested and you don't spend money like a drunken sailor then you have reached the first rung.

Not having a license sets off alarms. What are you? A drunk?

You can explain that you don't have a license because you cycle everywhere, but now they simply think you are a kook. And you know what? They have about a hundred other applicants chomping at the bit so thanks but no thanks. Safer to hire a regular guy who has a car, a mortgage and kids to feed.

As was also pointed out, *****ing about this is pointless. In this country the only protected classes are women, certain races, most religions, and people over 50. If you are gay, dress strangely or are the kind of nut that rides a bike everywhere then they are free to hold it against you.
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Old 09-14-09, 05:57 PM
  #43  
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CA has ID cards that look very similar to DLs. I believe the information is collected and maintained by the DMV. This is used just like a DL where identifying information is required, i.e. when writing a check at the store. Unless the job has a driving requirement, this ID should satisfy any identification requirements.
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Old 09-14-09, 08:22 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
That. Why does the subject need to come up? I've never had an employer ask me how I was going to get to work.

If, however, you bring it up and they decide not to hire you because of it, you're just plain out of luck.
He's right. This isn't a protected class.

Make sure you show absolute confidence in your choice and ability to arrive at work. So, when they ask say "Yes I have reliable transportation." At a later point, if you think it's going well, ask them if they have good bicycle storage or any other perks for bicycle commuters.

When you arrive for the interview (on the bike I presume) I would not make a big deal of it at all. Lock to a tree if you have to and change in a nearby gas station, or the restroom in the lobby. The only way that you're making an issue out of your bike is that you demand your employer provide decent parking (unless you're in an urban setting where the city has done so). And you're not making that demand because you need it (you obviously parked it just fine today) but because you're awesome and they need you.
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Old 09-14-09, 08:24 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by DoB View Post
Employers also check your credit score. Both having a license and having a reasonable credit score are used as signs of a certain level of responsibility. They figure if you can manage to find a way home from the bar without getting arrested and you don't spend money like a drunken sailor then you have reached the first rung.

Not having a license sets off alarms. What are you? A drunk?

You can explain that you don't have a license because you cycle everywhere, but now they simply think you are a kook. And you know what? They have about a hundred other applicants chomping at the bit so thanks but no thanks. Safer to hire a regular guy who has a car, a mortgage and kids to feed.

As was also pointed out, *****ing about this is pointless. In this country the only protected classes are women, certain races, most religions, and people over 50. If you are gay, dress strangely or are the kind of nut that rides a bike everywhere then they are free to hold it against you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_class

I'd recommend getting a drivers license. I know it sucks, but just rent a car and pass the test. Having the license proves something about you and provides an easy ID in so many scenarios.

Plus, if your buddy wants to rent a car for an awesome road trip you can drive!
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Old 09-14-09, 09:22 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
I do not want to be on the road next to a car driven by someone who goes years at a time without driving.
Hey, I often go years at a time without driving. But on the occasions when I do drive a car, I am a hell of a lot safer than I was when I drove all the time. Not that I did anything blatantly idiotic back then, but cycling gets you in the habit of paying close attention to everything happening on the road, and the habit carries over to driving.

The down side is that I'll drive thirty miles on surface streets before I remember that there's a freeway I could have taken...that and trying to clip out of the clutch or the gas pedal. On balance, though, I'd rather ride next to a car driven by cyclist who drives twice a decade than by a complacent habitual cager.
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Old 09-14-09, 09:27 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
I do not want to be on the road next to a car driven by someone who goes years at a time without driving.
why not? it's just like riding a bike, right?

sorry, sorry, i just couldn't help myself.
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Old 09-14-09, 09:34 PM
  #48  
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The last time my driver's license came up for renewal, I'd been car-free for almost two years. Renewed anyway, for the possible need to drive my brother's van/sister's car/rental/business purpose. Twenty bucks for six years; pretty cheap to keep noses outta my business.

Sure, there are jobs that require you to drive; people who use mass transit can't get them, either. But many many MANY jobs simply require 'reliable transportation'. If you volunteer it's a bike, and they don't hire you, learn the lesson -- you talk too much!
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Old 09-14-09, 10:08 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
I do not want to be on the road next to a car driven by someone who goes years at a time without driving.
I would. I think the people who drive less often drive safer. It's the idiots that are always driving that scare the hell out of me. The drivers that are so used to driving that they think they can do anything, talk on the phone, have a couple of drinks, text their friends, etc. that scare me.

I haven't driven in some time, but I remember the last time I did, I was watching everything. I never once went over the speed limit.
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Old 09-14-09, 10:11 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by TuckertonRR View Post
If he have up the license in 1992, there's no renewal. That was 16 years ago. He most likely has to go through the whole process all over again to get one - including whatever "drivers school" is required in his state.
Well, in Ohio, we don't have to take a driver's school if you are over 18. We just need to take the tests. I decided that maybe having a driver's license would be good after I didn't renew my license a couple of years ago.

I did get my learner's packet and took the test. After having my learner's permit, I still didn't drive. I kept putting off the driving part of the test. Finally, my learner's permit has expired. I still think about getting my license every now and again, but it just seems too much of a hassle for something I don't need.
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