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The Legal Risks of Appearance-Based Hiring

In this video episode of Fashion Counsel, Arent Fox Partner Anthony Lupo and Labor & Employment practice leader Mike Stevens discuss the liabilities employers are exposed to when staffing choices involve considerations of weight, age, nationality, parental status, and other potentially perilous classifications.

Earlier this week, the dating website managed to grab international headlines after it launched a recruitment portal that provides employers with only “attractive” job applicants.

The controversy and legal questions surrounding this story serve as a stark reminder for fashion companies of the legal risks involved with appearance-based hiring. Understandably, fashion retailers want store employees to look good when wearing branded merchandise. But these retailers must be aware of the fine legal line they are walking when they decide that public-facing employees must also serve as de facto brand ambassadors.


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