« Freakonomics Radio

210. Is It Okay for Restaurants to Racially Profile Their Employees? (Rebroadcast)

2016-08-04 | 🔗
We seem to have decided that ethnic food tastes better when it's served by people of that ethnicity (or at least something close). Does this make sense -- and is it legal?
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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I'll their employees, hope you enjoy it. We will be back next week with brand new episode of economic freedom. eleven pretend for a minute that you ve decided to open up a restaurant. Can you imagine that sure is easy to imagine something like that would enjoy. he hated more than alone, but you can imagine you. Can At least I can imagine what kind of food we deserve. Probably fast food this kind of, I think that's what I would probably open. Could imagine opening lake something with an asian cuisine? really great asian restaurant. In the basement of the Guardia Airport. I could open one of those
You know what I'm talking about. You ve eaten with me. I've made you read there. Oh yeah, that's kind of fast food, yeah, sure, yeah, exactly fast food aid, the sweeten sour chicken rank urban Chicken burnt bourbon chicken. That's what is the bourbons ok, so open a you, would open an airport fast food chinese restaurant would be here your hearts desire, and let me ask you this: how do you think you would approach hiring the weight staff of this chinese fest
good airport restaurant. Do you want them to match the food in some way, absolutely why's that when it comes to ethnic food, not sure why? But we decided that it tastes better when it serve by people of that at the city, I'm guessing, you may have noticed this too. We certainly have in my family my sons I'm a noticed it a few years ago and you like ten, I have some friends new Yorkers who lived in Japan for several years, learn the language and then moved back to New York and for one of the first meals back. They went to an authentic, japanese restaurant and start talking to the waiter in Japanese, but he did not know a word of Japanese because he was
three. In the other waiters there were vietnamese filipino Chinese. What is going on here? That was a question put to us by one of our listeners hay for economics, radio. This is barely again out of sight sitting. You tat and I have a question for you- guys, I was at dinner last night having sushi- and I had this realization- that every worker at every sushi restaurant, that I've ever been tomb, is asian or at least asian ish. Looking so is it a prerequisite that how to be asian looking to work at a sushi restaurant and if it is, can they do that really explained a bit further in an email she wrote if someone wanted to hire all white or american, looking people
let's say some very americanized restaurant, then people would be test or all black women, all gay, whatever. Really, how do the Asians get away with it? Shiro? Let it be noted that my grandpa is japanese, so I am a quarter and I love the agents, so maybe you guys could look into it for me. Maybe you could be a pike has one day who knows a girl can dream? Might yes, Bailey girl can dream, and we will dream right along with you, we will try to figure out where this restaurant racial profiling comes from, if it makes sense, if its legal and of course, we No. It's not only asian restaurants. We're talking about here we're talking about restaurants that make indian food served by people from Pakistan and Bangladesh italian food served by Croatian or serbian, wait staff mexican food to speaking of which hey what's your favorite mexican dish. I love the Timmy tongue
I'm happy from W and Y see studios. This is freak economics, radio, the podcast that explores the hidden side of everything. Here's your host, Stevens Abner meters Eve Levitt nor I have ever run a restaurant, so try to figure out the ethnic hiring patterns at restaurants. I thought we'd start with some people who actually do restaurant. to day when the kitchen seen some charred reds, however, is a lot of states in the case of the station. Its net Milner in this is his wife with O Miller.
This kitchen smells amazing risen their own and operate to restaurants in Manhattan on the upper West, pretty close to where I live as it turns out and ass. It turns out my family and I really like both the restaurants. One is called Elizabeth Neighbourhood table named after Liz. It calls its cuisine, thoughtful american comfort, food and right next door is Gabrielle as restaurant and to kill a bar that's where we are now you want to walk through here the kitchen quickly Gabrielle is, as you probably figured out there now is a mexican US, charge of everything, made quantity is being made right here: Real Unscom, metal press. a ball Adele and there's flattened out aha Grill, not Milner, come from a real New York restaurant family. His uncle Arthur Cutler, was a pint
you're, a jewish guy on Long Island, figured out there. What New York, really needed was a big, noisy family style italian place called car mines and China town style, noodle shop, throws meets Ali's and Virginals southern style barbecue joint in Times Square back when times where was really Times Square Arthur Cutler like liked zig when everybody else was acting as I learned from his nephew net. So, ok, let's go back to the beginning of debris, Personal who is Gabriela the person who Gabriel worked for my uncle and she would have been helping out my cousin and meals once in awhile may also become homes and countless put his grey. What is it like that? In a lady, these early ninetys and everything this text MAX and gave us, I don't know, that's just what I took at home, she's Mexican Gambia, Nebula Bananas
so what kind of homes style fresh mexican we're Part Mexico, Shiva Guadalajara, and so your uncle says hey, we should open a restaurant featuring your food. That's why weren't that's! Basically, she brought up The whole family came into the business and uncle was the original sheriff. He came up with another factor but all the recipes and design the whole menu but altogether. So when we call Gabrielle as a mexican restaurant, you really is pretty mexican. The mole lays the speeches that Jimmy challenges Arthur Cutler Nets, uncle the restaurant pioneer. He died young in ninety. Ninety seven nat was living in Alaska, Redonda, hang out fish salmon and that's remit. Liz
he's from Boston. She went to Alaska as a Jesuit volunteer. By now they had fallen in love. Married had a kid when that's uncle died and not heard the family could use some help in the restaurants back in New York. National is move back and Nat wound up running Gabrielle us. The food today is pretty much the same as it was at the beginning. The recipes are authentic mexican, the vibe is mexican niche. The tequila is most definitely mexican Nat and Liz regularly go to Mexico to taste
he'll from the barrels to decide which back to bring back to Gabriel is. Should we be drinking some while we talk with almost time, we have our own select barrels here there be perfect breakfast. If you do, you realize what is your breakfast to kill and we can? We can make up. Nat showed me a selection of Blanco to killings, that's clear on age to Cuba and then some reparata sows the darker ones, that of aged in barrels for less than a year and some unease house which have age longer. So this is a three hundred and sixty four day representative to kill a tasting according to net Milner,
he's a lot like wine tasting. We wafted we sniffed you. I give little swirl Tipp announces while away over the top of the glass and then just before noon. We drank Jeff, cheers Delicious, so good, yes, Yamaha Fantastic, so that's quite a bit of authenticity for a mexican restaurant in New York. What about the people who work there so in any given? Let's say busy shift Antonelli Thursday night Friday night? Sorry now, obviously Billy busy, how many front of room workers you have here will have, a busy nine. The sum of about ten servers on ten servers kind is that each person, waiters that waiters and later cocoa and then soon Buzzer's and runners in a bar tenders and barbaric, send all the kitchen stuff. Ok, all in front of the room front of the house on Friday night, let's say, would be than twenty twenty four
people get lessons about how many of them are mexican. I don't really have the regular papers in front of me I mean I would say by forty percent of that right, but everyone spring much Latin rank. Speak spanish love people from Colombia, Ecuador, republic. Does it matter that a server might be dominican serving mexican food? In your view, I dont think ring but how many non Latinos you have from the house very few. Why so few number Tenos in a mexican restaurant? Does it come from the supply side, restaurant or the demand side? The customers as not talk me through it. He p now the he doesn't actually do the hiring the general manager does and he is from Mexico. You have a corporate culture, the boy you're trying to grow a team. and you know
You put out ads a lot. I had to go in spanish newspapers, or especially the back of the house on the front of the house. We tend to always have a good selection of we want to work and we don't really advertising some is used and another view elsewhere will argue here, gotcha and sisters and brothers and cousins and rain extended he's working throughout the I assume their mostly then speaking, spanish, to each other on the job, mostly gotcha, about, especially in the back rates. The back is all Latinos. Well, gotcha, ok! So what? If I, however, in twenty five years old, I just moved to New York from Pennsylvania. I happened to be weight. for a waiter, Jabber wages Job- and I come to you guys like we would area for everyone, you wanna do Do not actually at this moment I do not of I could be here to kill a taste right that can be good at. We honestly don't get alot of people like that walking. Yes, that's what I want knows how it works, or is it a kind of self selection in terms of the hiring and the applying? In that sense, I mean
back in the day. You can be sixteen seventeen eighteen years old, looking for a job as a busboy right now those jobs. This aren't there to have adults who want those jobs like even pay. Her boys are now adults. Do you know? Why would I have a seventy working here when I can ever right twentieth oh man with a less baby and ran his words family. Now, let me ask you this for the people who come here to eat, do you think they care? that the front of the house is all latino in terms of making it kind of the right experience, whether that's about authenticity or what not I think there's a little aspect of that, but I don't give a much semi. It might be a little bit. I know that when you walk into Gabrielle, as you want to see me, I mean why, I mean I don't mind: senior noble, you're, looking to see guerrilla you're right. You have read curly, hair and a red beard, and I mean I think there is some
say about them in the people want to come to a mexican restaurant, be surrounded by spanish speaking people here with our care, rash for one. I think the pace, the way things move here. I know we ve had some people. And who are not latino but they'll, be here, but they don't. stay long. I think it's just one. those things where it's moving faster. Catching Lincoln's man. That is because the land. So it's ok. I understand that food you're you're excited about the food. If you come to work here and you don't speak Spanish and you don't fit in with the culture of the family meal and eating with people on laughing with people, you kind of feel like you're. A little bit outside I didn t allow when I'm on IRAN, but I just muscle throw but what about restaurants that serve asian cuisine? Why would japanese style sushi
A strong higher wait staff who are korean vietnamese Filipino, why? I think it goes back to the same thing about the walks in the door of for these jobs, If I found Asian, I'm not gonna, go to mexican restaurant and say how can I get it? dear me, might You know we hire all kinds of people. You know you might rather go to asian restaurant ran real little. Yeah have a good answer to that but I think a lot of those that people are coming here are the first generation rather just hear they're trying to work their butts off the trying to make something- and you know the disorder today So the work ethic of the immigrant or maybe the first generation American coincides well with the needs of restaurant that happens to be in ethnic restaurant ramming it's so that might be one reason why the hiring kind of self select itself like that. You think it's got something to do with it.
I will also say like in order your tongue about twenty five year old kid was coming to New York City and he's trying to make something is trying to get a job. Here is not coming to New York to be a waiter You can do that Norma right rank so he's coming here. there's something else. Whatever them, a bit like that tv show taxi right. No, none of them were really taxi. Driver ral, X, Ray everyone was an act. There was a box, comedian. Whatever is the same kind of thing so if he's sitting here, and I have someone who's more about policies sees arrested? industry is a career rang in. I would certainly think of them. Over someone who's. maybe gonna be here. Three Montenegro show on Broadway Shapiro whatever, and that is a problem that net and Liz have had their other restaurant Elizabeth neighbor had table from the street. The two restaurants are just next door, but from the back through the kitchen at Gabrielle, as you see there actually attached, we have a secret backdoor
and just like that. You go from a kitchen producing guacamole and supply chain, to a kitchen with pancakes and eggs on the Griddle Elizabeth, does a big brunch business with the classics. They have great corned beef by the way. Lunch and dinner bring creative, salads and comfort foods like Turkey, meat, loaf and grass FED burgers. We have one I'm not even sure what suits we have today, That's my call me now I'm excited to see a can of PAM in your kitchen desire. I need time once in a while. You use it I mean I live on the waffle, iron and the kitchen here next. you saw the kitchen staff at Elizabeth like at Gabrielle, as is all the Tina orders or call,
Spanish model dominance bunker its remit is to follow but step through the kitchen door into the dining room and get a very different died. Gabrielle is has Dave the dead, figurines and mexican day core with empty tequila barrels out front Elizabeth looks like a new England, Beach House wainscoting, Martha Stewart III, color palette brass wall sconces, the weight staff is much more of a mixed and Gabrielle most definitely not all the Tina, so I have to save this transports me to a place. I don't mean to sound racist cuz, it's against me, but it is transferred. It supports me to play through as a lot of white people which in most so my best friends are white people, so was Europe? Did you feel at some point any kind of not pressure but desire to make the weight staff look more
Lake, EAST, Hampton IE or Connecticut each year. We really want to reflect the neighbourhood area unless really what we want to me in this play way. People neighbouring island, neighbourhood, labour, Hunter running away service to the chef at odds with neighbourhood table is to mass arrests. Yes, he's from Mexico over the past decade, plus he's worked at a lotta restaurants in New York, and he says he's noticed a big in the demographics everywhere everywhere you go now. It's you, you're you're gonna find those guns or Latinos. It's not like before I remembered for years late. If we go turning kazoo, you finally time people now with nothing but there's usually a split. He says between the kitchen and from the house. If you see a log differ resource every issue from the house, it like more like this. Why people some
nothin us. But not. I think, but the houses like Malta is lucky knows if you look at restaurant and food industry, jobs in the: U S by ethnic city, as compiled by the Bureau of Labour statistics, you'll see that twenty five percent of those jobs are held by lieutenants, while the tunnels make up on this eighteen percent of the? U S population. So, for whatever reason her set of reasons, restaurant work has become a latino stronghold, especially in the kitchen, but here's. My question is the practice of Erin, latino servers at a mexican restaurant or white servers at an american style restaurant or for that matter, asian servers at a japanese retie restaurant is this discrimination. I personally would call that discrimination, or at least not the kind of discrimination to get upset about that again, is Steve Levitt, my for economics friend and CO author who,
let's see himself, opening a chinese fastfood restaurant at an airport, the kind of discrimination we usually worry about. discrimination where employers make choices about who to hire based on a key area that are unrelated to performance on the job. So, for instance, if its answer your phone and ended man versus women, that when there's no evidence that men are better at answering phones than women it. So I would say any chinese restaurant looking Asian is an important part of fulfilling the test, which people don't cost anymore to higher than the mexican staff at a mexican restaurant or the indian staff in India has drowned, but they enhance the experiences of the people were dining them, because you think that the the the customer has a happier experience if here she thinks that the weight stay is related to the country where the food is from. That's the reason why it's more optimal, because Zack
as he is you're, describing what does constitute discrimination. I was thinking that this is it not the opposite of tat. Now I think, if, if that chinese restaurant had not a single asian person ever insight, I bet that you- and I would talk about that- a lot when we were in the restaurant, and that would be against me that it matters to the customers whether they deserve a staff are our asian or not yet, but there may be just I'm just curious, whether maybe this is just a custom and because it's been around for a long time, we accepted It's either be no sensible or optimal or fair, but maybe in fact it's none. Those like what, if I say you know what most podcast hosts are men or most of the hosts of the biggest podcast in the world are men. Therefore, that's evidence that men are plainly better and therefore I do not want any women touching. My podcast is net.
many similar to arguing that I do not want any non asian people serving me asian food. I think that's a little different because your question really intersects with how we think but markets and in general economists, tend to think that when There are a lot of different options for workers to go and find jobs in different places. The impact of kind of discrimination, or at least differentiation that you're describing at this chinese restaurant just turns out not to be important now evident need if there were no jobs, if the only jobs and the economy or chinese restaurant, Can we really worry a lot about who retired? Doesn't it restaurants? But in a world where there are please restaurant in Mexican, restaurants and indian restaurants and fast food restaurants, I just
get too excited about worrying about what I would call discrimination in terms of hiring when I think you can make a good case, rightly or wrongly, that customers care who serves them, but if you think about it realistically, why shouldn't matter what the ethnicity is of server in a chinese restaurant. You might very well worry about the cook, but you don't see the cook, but somehow the server you right is probably just decoration right is not important to the quality of the food. I so Levitt. Let's pretend that the restaurant that you decide to open or me open it together, you and I are going to open a restaurant together, let's say in New York and but Sates Swedish K Loo and we call it smorgasbord, ok, Does this mean that you want a higher? Only really swedish, looking people, absolutely you wanna higher bunch, a tall, blonde people, blue eyes were probably good scares and yeah. That's what you want for sure. If I have a swedish restaurant, I want
Philip nazis were people who are tall and blood, but who have nice swedish accents as well, whether their real effect and so had he advertise for those jobs in the paper. The longest pause had ever heard of eleven over its among both well one thing, my dear where does in Stockholm, to really find them from people who will come from Sweden and and work at a restaurant, but think I would start by saying the name of the. Restaurant and that we serve swedish cuisine. Maybe I would Mayberry advertising Swedish if I really thought that I wanted to be superseded, that may be judged advertise it modeling agencies which will have lots of tall blonde hair at the blue, eyed women. I, but let's be honest, it's it's trickier to advertise yeah, I'm not going
hey, wait only or blondes only for swedish restaurant, whereas If I opened an indian restaurant, I know that my customers in New York, the vast mature That may not know or care the difference between an indian waiter, a pakistani waiter, Bangladeshi waiter, etc re. So I can love them together comfortably. I can't lumped together like blonde whites, though comfortably. Can I end. If not, is that fair? I think you can you can let them. Can you tell the dim between Sweden and German and a Finn. Ah, I can't first blush I'd, say absolutely not right, but but when I say lumped together, I mean put my net to attract them. Yes, that is a different question. I wonder what would happen if you put a want it
in the paper that said looking first, swedish looking people deserve in my restaurant I'm guessing you're sued within twenty four hours. That's what I'm on Broadway. Aren't you allowed to do that on Broadway? They they could say. We need a character who has these characteristics and they would say that's because it's important to have and you want to play HI eight. You can't be done a verisimilitude right to like. If I decide to open, let's say a restaurant featuring, you know jewish Ellie Food right and I want to hire only jewish wait staff. I can do that. Ok, going to your light yeah, I mean not only, of course, we're working, isn't that you have to hire only Jews to work in New Delhi. These have two people look like the Jews impasse reduce now you might actually have a harder time there because which risk, if you have a jelly
and people want to start speaking Hebrew were yet it then you really want you know people who are jewish there. In the same what people come into our are smorgasbord, restaurant and start speaking Swedish to our poor german waitresses, who showed how can the thing about three? We could be in trouble and that's the sense in which I think it really is defensible too to want to hire people who who fit the part in. I don't know anything about the legal background on it, but I would be fascinated to find out what the legal standing is of those kind of choices, because I my hunches, that you might be able to get away with it. I even have some experts on you should have a legal expert on for sure, ok, Levitt. After the break, we will have a legal expert on talk about ethnic based, restaurant hiring. The statute is pretty clear and if, if you're, taking density into account
you. You are technically subject to unemployment discrimination. Lawsuit also hear from someone at the federal agency, that enforces discrimination law in the workplace. We don't don't hiring solely on the basis of ethnicity. Debt is illegal. You cannot decide work training, restaurant. We only want trainees, it were a mexican restaurant. We only want a teenager and because the world is interesting, also talk to a white irish american comedian got a job as agreed or at a chinese restaurant in China and did like how he was greeted her. This body, if I was in New York and I walked into a restaurant and welcome- was like all your very welcome, and I wish you a very warm welcome to always the one you want a fine words but I'd be arrested.
des Bishop is a comedian very popular in some parts of the world. So would you please welcome? Doesn't as Bishop him appearing on Elite make talk show in Ireland Thank you, sir. I welcome as eyes. This is cool man. You know Bishop grew up in New York and move to Ireland as a teenager. He Toasted shows on irish tv. Their part comedy part reality Series one of them was about sending an american irish comic, China to see how he made out
especially in China itself. For the past two years, Bishop lived in China. He studied Mandarin He lived with chinese family and immersed himself in the culture and he performed his stand up act in Mandarin. Ok, so can you give us like, maybe the beginning, a favorite? part of your man, renewed teen in Mandarin right now and I'll see how it works on me. Ok, this is a quick one, so work. Eleven, the polio, Chow job partial Russia wait here. Just let me get my chair. Dvds, that's different! A lover I love arteries it doesn't even ok later you can put your were headway. True needs our help. We cheap raw homework. How we should use our wholehearted parlour was only too now that a woman's howdah mechanically.
Russia will budget that we choose. You show me that gets a greatly. I actually did that on chinese television gotta greatly. You had me it touch. You ok! So tell me what you actually said. So, basically, that's a joke about an argument I heard with my girlfriend. It's kind of a the whole routine comes from a routine about dating a chinese girl, and so basically we were having a massive arguing. there's not one bit of this? That's made up two hundred percent. True, I have to say when, when I hear you talking Mandarin, not understanding literally a single syllable, I am inclined to laugh just because you sound like a comic Amendment like you're, like the melodic, you know them but the of the intensity of the way you pace thing so to me. Your mandarin sounds awesome. I have no idea. Is it Pretty good are not really well to tell my american and irish friends. It's absolutely
chinese people together the for chinese people, it's a date. They find it amazing that I can get laughs with MIKE Mary Average are not poor Mandarin, but I get it with their. I guess maybe the bit of New York confidence is something so my heart Chinese is not bad for the amount of time. I ve been studying it's pretty good, but it is by no means eloquently fluent As part of the tv show the does Bishop was making in China for Irish TV, he took a job as agreed her in a chinese restaurant, not a host just a reader, host actually sits people. I literally just had to greet people literally all you did why. Why would they for someone to do that spares The German, that's like an ideology I've been China, a union been yet is literally a welcome ass, their job, so you would like, Please say hello to people as it came in, say goodbye when they left and, yes, you have to say very loudly and kind of its a chinese thing when you're in China. You know it's like you walk in and then why
I mean really loudly and that I guess they people feel it gives them face or whatever the job within who gun? it is about a million people relatively small. Is chinese cities go Bishop lived with the other employees and staff housing. The restaurant fathom paid him three hundred dollars a month. Just tell me a little bit just cause. I have no idea. I'm curious to know is going out tee in a restaurant like this in city like this is kind of a special deal. or is it more like a once a week thing that families will do? Is it more for celebration? Is it more? You know adults earth families or even teenagers tummy a little bit about mostly adults and families. I mean that the special out of this restaurant is it's all rooms, there's no actual
isn't that there was no actual, like you know, like canteen part, was all like private rooms. I bit by bit. Ito eating out has become affordable in China. I mean it. Food prices are low and you know the economy's booming and people can go out to each was largely always busy and it's just a middle level. Just busy restaurant with people just go on having a nice time. What's the name, the restaurant action can even remotely that's so what goes on China disobeyed at the time. I don't even think I ever really registered the name. Emily memoranda name, but I just knew how to get there and you had a point in the taxi you're awake. I I'm guessing in the city, the size are our lot awake eyes around, Only Y got its ever done this job, probably in the history of China, let alone the history of this small towns are everyday customs that arrive and I wouldn't really become a welcome. I would become the guy that has the same conversation every day all day. I would just like
talk to customers in maybe like. Why are you here? I see so tell me. Ok, so pretend I walk in greet me whining wildly and then I would say you might say, washing. washing leap like my name is Lee hi, guys just look at the book and say folly or the rooms were named after expensive cars, so I would say no I finally, which is Ferrari, and so then I would. I would but to be honest that so rarely happens, because my Chinese so like imitate boys singly and like it's easy for me, They are now. I can even see the character, but back then I couldn't you know gotcha. So really what I would say when you really sometimes I would get caught. I would say Nigger foes intervention like what room sir, and they wouldn't even ignored
Let me they would just turned with chinese person, assuming that there is no way in the world. I could have got them to the right room that dares Bishop says was the common response from restaurant customers in who Hogan China seeing this American. I host in their chinese restaurant. This is the number one sound I would hear every day. I like that her, why literally that doesn't sound times with my eye and then some fifty percent of the time it took me. Fifty percent of just ignore me. Chinese people is funny because we're very politically correct here nowadays and what kind of obsessed with and people here, often think that the main issue that you would encounter is, is like how to work around the sense that you know the sensitivities of race and China, but there are no sensitivities around raised there. All Chinese right a few weeks into his greater job. Bishop was starting to feel pretty comfortable and then one night he says these three drunk guys came into the restroom.
Now this town is in don't buy it in the northeast of China, which has a reputation for the people being a bit rough around the edges a bit gregarious right. So these three guys command smoking with their man bags the Isle of Man Bags- and I did my best whining one, the and then one of them really loudly in front of all the staff like in front of all girls caused by the way. It's also a girl's job that I'm doing, unlike the only nuns ever done it. That's why I'm so high pitched when I say waning one because I learned that some of these women and surrounding the so Isaac waiting when they one of them really loudly like in front of everybody, goes flying landing and does like persuasion of my bed chinese. You know it like a really like you know, like a voice of making fun of me. I remember thinking like you cannot I mean running me. This is not acceptable, I'm the only one. I understand that is definitely racist, though I know that people say there's no such things reverse racism, but I definitely felt for the first time in my life, just like more of an then I'd ever felt before. Did it by
are you or did you, of course that is always a problem, because I thought this a body if I was in New York and I walked into a restaurant and their welcome was like all your very welcome and I went all your work or to almost a what you'll want to fly wars? Will I be arrested, but I immediately I mean it was immediate its sometimes you just have a moment of immediacy when it comes, material. I immediately said. Thank you a whole, because that is definitely a routine. I cannot wait to tell that story in comedy clubs in the West, because I just knew that it was like absolutely true but an absolutely winning moment, so if the american Irish does. Bishop was not authentic enough as a Mandarin speaking reader in China, the customers were chinese. Would
He be any more authentic as an English speaking host. Maybe chinese restaurant in New York, curve, California, SALT Lake City or to ask the question we really want to Answer- is the practice hiring restaurant workers who matched the cuisine fair there. There are a couple of differ ways to answer that question. That's the legal expert! We promised you John Donoghue, teaches at Stanford LAW School he's an economist as well as a lawyer and he's an expert on employment disco, one is. Fairness is defined by the pointed discrimination laws, it probably isn't fair or legal to do this, and there are some obviates there, but as a general matter, hiring decisions are not supposed to be made on the basis of ethnicity. With some caveats, Donoghue says this goes back to a certain piece of land mines,
american legislation. The nineteen sixty four civil Rights ACT, which was the federal law that prohibited disk. Nation on the basis of race, sex, gender and so on, and so forth was one of the most important laws passed at the federal level in this country. In the last century, title seven of that law protects against employment discrimination, but one caveat done. Who tells us is M size at the federal level, only firms with fifteen or more employees are subject to this law. Although some states numbers less another potential Kaweah Donoghue says, is the job itself. There, could be a situation where The discrimination is permitted if it's a bona fide occupational characteristic, say that phrase again bona fide occupational qualifications, a bona fide occupy.
folks you? Ok, that is a narrowly tailored term of art and the idea, Behind the b F, O Q defence is that you needed to higher in this. Otherwise, this when a tory way, because it's sort of essential trade of the Jha. I saw explain your routers. I guess that's why you, and neither you nor I could get a job at Hooters exactly so hooter Hooters wins out on that rationale, but the b, F, O Q defence is a tricky one. Hooters my art. That its customers? Don't want to see me or John Donoghue in those bright are in short, shorts and white tanked up, but how do they know? Maybe I could broaden their clientele and maximize their profits. Consider another industry that used to argue that being a certain kind of female was an essential part
the job? It goes back to the early days of of the nineteen sixty four civil rights laws, application where, for example, A number of the airlines initially tried to defend their practice of hiring. Attractive young women to be stewardesses on these airlines and the reason Did that at the time in the sixties, largely a male business clientele that they were trying to appeal to and they thought that they would find the fact of being served by a young and often required to be unmarried. Woman would be appealing to the customers. This began to change in the late nineteenth sixties, with a lawsuit filed by the equal employment, opportunity, commission or e o c
that's the agency that enforces title seven and a man named Celia DS, Junior, he wants to be a flight attendant and he sued PAN American Airlines for discrimination, and they defended these. I look we're not doing anything. discriminatory where just satisfying our customers demands and they brought in surveys that showed farewell, namely their customers did want to be served by young. unmarried and presumably it attractive women, but the court's ruled that part of what employment discrimination laws, try to do Where is overcome discriminatory preferences? perhaps change those discriminatory preferences by opening up the job. to everyone in a non discriminatory fashion. But I wonder you know, look what we just lived through a period where unemployment could be really crushing for life. people in there were a lot of people who are willing to take a lot of jobs.
Upset they might not be willing to take five years earlier ten years earlier, indifferent economy, and I could imagine that there were be some people out there, based on nothing more than what their face looks like that said, you know I would have loved to have a job. waiting tables in Assisi, restaurant or in a mexican restaurant where an italian restaurant, but because I dont location and I dont look latino and I dont look italian than those were. off limits to me so could you imagine time and perhaps not too distant future, where this kind of hiring practice is looked at as unacceptable, and perhaps even illegal certainly could could happen in the statute is pretty clear and if, if you're taking as nicety into account without some of these other possible defenses being present you, you are technically subject two. Were unemployment discrimination lawsuit? I was wondering if
You may care more if these were better paying jobs. Right I mean if we talk about software Engineering, ORD lawyering, for instance, where the stakes are financially ire. Do you think we might have a different outlook on this kind of what seems to be just a? U no kind of cash. Or go along get along racial profile, hiring practice in restaurants. Your absence the way the Eu Seaward care more, but even more to the point, the title seven gives up, the right of action to anyone whose excluded and their there able to bring lawsuits and when attorneys fees, so it's very easy to get a lawyer to take a case where there's gonna be a lot of money at stake, but no interest. we haven't seen much in the way of life nation in in these small you know at the cuisine scenarios now part of that could be. As we talked about You know the number of employees. You can also
imagine in a slightly different twist from the way we been describing it that Let's say a Japanese A strong owner Hires relatives Then you could say well we're not discriminating on the basis of ethnicity where discrimination, on the basis of you know familial relationship, and that might be a way around, but that doesn't get to the core question them you ve been discussing where you're not tiring within Europe necessity, but in a and doing a little bit of a Baden switch by hiring other ethnicities, I S, Steve Leavin, the same question, whether the kind of hiring that restaurants do might pass under the radar, because he's a relatively low paid jobs. What if, for instance, I'm starting in e commerce site meant to appeal to you,
these customers and I decide- I only want to hire chinese programmers. It's a tough question, because I believe a lot in the power of firm culture and in in the view that, in tangible things can dramatically effect productivity at companies but you have a super careful when you go down that path that the end result is it to support some sort of massive. the text of discrimination Tang. While we really, we can't higher black people at this company, because black people dont have the right culture for our company. That's that's the trade off, but on the other hand, when, when I hire people say it at the grid, good. I dont care at all about their gender or their their ethnicity, but I care a whole lot about whether their fun to be around and may smile odd and they work hard and I dont believe any of those characteristics are correlated with Egypt,
or admittedly but another end it. Why don't? I know him if you start out by hiring a bunch of them in a rich white people, maybe end up wanting to hire a bunch, morbid twite people and in that the problem strictly, really hard issues with the addition of discrimination is one of the trickiest ones. When it comes to the courts and comes to markets and thinking about it, because how even the right definition of what it means to be discriminatory is a subtle in it. depends on the on the context about the context of a retail clothing store, maybe you caught this story recently about a disk nation case the ito see one. you're breaking news now from the familiar Supreme Court earlier today, the rule in favour of a muslim woman.
Fatah lawsuit after she was denied a job at an average Crombie and Fitch Clothing store because it she were headscarf for religious reasons, eight to one vote. This was that lot. Detective came down started when a seventeen year old teenager walked into one of our offices are called one of our offices, and we took her came all the way through the lower court, the appeal to court and into the Supreme Court, that is Justine, lesser she's, a lawyer who works as a spokesperson for the Eu Sea, and she says the agency has brought several suits against restaurants at higher along ethnic lines. As we ve been talking about today, we hued eight Houston restaurant, which was supposed to be an obscure mexican restaurant that fired already hired servers, one of whom, with african American one of whom was yet the knees because they quote: didn't speak Spanish, but it had an extremely diverse group
Heatran did certainly didn't have only a spanish speaking group of patrons and the reason of not speaking Spanish was we were alleging, was a pretext to make sure that all of their servers were hispanic again to sort of fit in with the scene, and this is not legal. I mean for any restaurant or any employer to put in a requirement like a language requirement. It has to be an in. This is the legal phrase of art, job related and consistent with business necessity, and in most instances it is not job, related, inconsistent with business necessity. Lesser says. One reason there have been more cases like this is that the EU IE is a charge driven agency. In other words, a restaurant worker would have to come to them. We don't go out looking for discrimination,
We don't have the resources or our law doesn't really permitted. People come to us and filed charges and we should take those charges and investigate them and in some instances we finally was in federal court on them, and I want to make very clear that whether or not the Eu Sea has in fact but if we go condone hiring solely on the basis of ethnicity, debt is illegal. You cannot decide where a train, Restaurant we only want Chinese were mexican restaurant. We only want latino, then. Maybe we need to step up our outreach to specific ethnic chambers of commerce if they exist or different organization, the restaurant owners and let them know
is and is not against the law well, barely hidden in SALT Lake City Utah. Thanks for the question about restaurant hiring, as you can see there a lot of answers, most of them not fully satisfactory. Personally, I'm kind of torn by what we learned today. If there is a labour market, that has customarily organised itself pretty well may do so. self selection and seems to be working. Ok for the firms, the employees and customers swell. We should leave it alone once more lawyers involved, but on their hand if this custom or whatever it is, is preventing people who need from getting them based simply on the way. They look. That's not cool and it goes against the grain of what a restaurant is supposed to be
a place you didn't go when you're hungry may be tired and sit down. Maybe your family or a bunch of friends, maybe even alone and pay some money for the privilege of being served right then, and there a nice warm meal. That's why I go to a place like Gabrielle is a nearby place. You can walk to where you might run into other people. You know here: take us home is not Milner. We want to be a place where the neighbour comes to celebrate. Now, when I not to be the greatest restaurant city you only gonna restaurant, in your birthday anniversary, we won't be a favor restaurant and we want to be the place you come home. Take up your time. Kick off your high heels, come down. Grandma guacamole relax. is celebrating surviving Monday, some milestone event in only one of these places. The neighbourhood comes to We have these little rooms here they can just grab
You know I don't know about your apartment, but we can entertain and aris it's full of kids right stuff. So whenever we get together with people, you know just like anyone else in the neighbourhood we grab little room. Have yes or no, some fighting celebrate the honesty coming up next week on figures radio. Some restaurants are so good that people we in line for them carry out its high. Kill over right. Now, alongside you get here, bout say three days ago already whenever one already is a line anyway, from an economic perspective, we use to decisive way to deal with short term fluctuations in demand
ok fluctuate. This standing in line stinks so what's to be done about it. A lot of good ideas that people hate. When you tell them about it. You hate this idea right, it's next time and for economics, radio economics, radio is produced by W and my c studios and w production is? This episode was produced by Christopher Worth and mixed by Rick Kwan with help from merit Jacob. Our staff also includes ervic Gunjay Jake, how it Gregg resolve Ski Caitlin. Here's Alison Hockenberry Emma Morgenstern, Angeleno, Greensburg, Harry Huggins, is our intern. You can subscribe to this progress on Itunes or wherever you get your podcast an please come visit for economics, dot com, we'll find our entire podcast archive, as well as a complete transcript of every episode ever made along with music credits and lots more.
for listening, hither, Stephen Double again one more thing: if you liked the episode you just heard, we think you like something else in the friggin hammocks radio network. Look for this interview on it you podcast people. I mostly admire with host Steve Leather lemme. Guess today Sue bird she collects championships she's for double and be eighty of Egypt's five Euro League best about championships. To end C h, championships for international basketball, federation, world cups and four olympic Gold medal. I would
I think that, in order to be the player you are, you would have to be a person who acted gets better under pressure rather than worth, while. Obviously there are people who are known for hitting big shots are known for playing well in big games that exists for sure, but I think we kind of frame it there. Why it's not that you're gonna make nine out of ten. It's that you might make three at ten. Somebody else is making zero it's at, whose most successful, it's like who's, the most successful, The least successful that is people mostly admire you can find it on your favorite podcast app subscribe now, so that you don't miss single episode. hey there, Stephen dubbing again, one more thing, if you like for economics, radio, I think you'll also like the latest episode of people, I mostly admire the podcast hosted by my free economic spreading co, author Steve level.
Here's what it sounds like a guest today Sue bird. She collects championships she's for W Nba Championships five Euro, the best about championships too, and see a championships for International Basketball Federation, world cups and four olympic gold medals. I'd love to talk about the economic the professional basketball, so the average player in the NBA made eight point. Three million dollars into the nineteen and in the W Nba the average with eighty thousand is frustrating just now. I think. Actually, if you look at Twenty twenty. Our minimum is now higher, but we all but in the same amount of work, so is it a heart?
swallow knowing that somebody else's work is being rewarded at times by I live in reality. I understand business and economics. Some people look at us as like charity. The goal will help them out like an it in a terrible. What sense, not unlike this business, investment way everything do look at us as an investment immediately. Its talked about how we don't make money, and it's like fifty years about the NBA did either, but people are willing to make that investment get behind it and growing its people. I most we admire you can find it on your favorite podcast, app
Transcript generated on 2021-01-25.