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A little back ground I had been told due to my veterans’ status I will never go into management, and they only have maintenance type of work for me. Needless to say I did not interview for a maintenance position. This is not my first time facing this, and unfortunately when I have researched this kind of discrimination rarely have I seen a positive outcome for the victim.

While I was making a EEOC report against several other people due to discrimination against me over the span of about 1.5 years, a HR director who was taking my report asked me the following question.

How would I manage this organization?

She was not taking my answer of "it depends", and I followed up with "align with company policy". She left me alone after this question.

Does anyone have a better answer to this kind of question when you don’t want to give them information?

jrb3's picture

BLUF:  Yes:  "How is that question relevant to this report?"

How you might handle being a manager in that organization is irrelevant to reporting discrimination.  So it requires no answering.

It would be a valid question if in interview for a manager position.  Any military experience where you commanded others is directly relevant experience to pull from, even if you were "just" a corporal leading a work detail with one private from your platoon.  And if you were an NCO, warrant officer, or commissioned officer, the management experience inherent in your past service makes it clear the discrimination is for "you were military" because you've already been a manager.

I've no good ideas on how to progress things in your favor (civilian with few military contacts), other than network through veterans' groups (and veterans here, such as Mark and Mike who founded Manager Tools) for vet-friendly organizations to change over into.  Good luck!

mike_bruns_99's picture

BLUF:  Yes:  "How is that question relevant to this report?"
How you might handle being a manager in that organization is irrelevant to reporting discrimination.  So it requires no answering.

I disagree.  The subject of the complaint, is the veteran being ineligible for management, purely due to their status of being a veteran. The HR Director’s question is 100% relevant and valid.

The HR Director's job during that meeting was two-fold.  One, take the report and include all details.  And two, try to get to the bottom of the issue.  While it is possible some stupid manager said "This Company won't promote you or any veteran to management”, I think it’s unlikely.

In investigating the complaint, the HR Director needs to answer the question “Objectively, does the veteran have the skills to be a manager in the organization?”   Because if the veteran doesn’t it’s not discrimination due to status.  It’s that the person doesn’t have the skills.

That EEOC complaint interview, was for all intents a job interview.  In my opinion, not answering the question was a mistake.