Can employers legally hire on the basis of attractiveness? - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Can employers legally hire on the basis of attractiveness?

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

It's no secret that the qualifications for numerous jobs in the Las Vegas service industry include good looks. The Strip is a sea of beautiful people, and the hiring process is largely taken for granted.

However, hiring, at least partly, based on looks seems to be more common across the country and for jobs beyond the service industry. But is it ethical or even legal?

Websites such as beautifulpeople.com match candidates with potential employers. It's also a dating site which only accepts people voted on by existing members as being attractive.

The people behind the site said studies show consumers respond better to attractive workers, and employers in the sales and service industries should take note.

Glenn Truitt, owner of Half Price Lawyers, said that hiring only attractive people can be legal.

"Attractiveness, or lack of attractiveness, is not a protected class in any protected class in any of the 50 states or by federal law. There are, however, analogs for attractiveness like age, weight and gender which are protected classes," Truitt said.

Lots of employers on the Strip hold what they call auditions instead of interviews or job fairs in order to find their desired applicants.

"As long as you're clear about requirements and what you're advertising for, [it's legal]," Truitt said.

Truitt said a lawsuit over the issue would be difficult to prove in court because beauty is subjective and difficult to define.

Still, Truitt said if you think you've been discriminated against by an employer, you should seek a legal consultation.

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