Too neat for “Hardcore”: Omsk resident denied employment because of «excessive grooming”

In May 2017, Edward Zavialov was denied a position of a sales assistant in Omsk-based LLC “Hardcore”. “Hardcore” issued an official document regarding this denial. The document states the following: “Your behavior (feminine tone of voice and gestures) and your appearance (excessive grooming and defiant clothing) suggest that you belong to the LGBT community. With your appearance, you promote non-traditional sexual relations.” Natalia Chernorai, the head of the HR office, signed this document.

In this document, Chernoray cites both article 64 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation and the so-called anti-propaganda law. She claims to have no “moral or legal right” to employ Zavialov.

Zavialov himself says that we signed up for an interview as soon as he found out about the job offer. During a job interview, the interviewer asked questions “related to my appearance, not my experience. They asked me whether I had conflicts at my previous workplace.”

“After the interview I was told that they reject my candidacy because I “look and act gay”, appealing to my excessive grooming. The employer said that this might negatively affect the image of the company. Their clientele, they said, are serious people — sportspeople (also minors) - and they don’t want to have any issues.

This was immensely upsetting because the rejection itself is based on a first impression, not on my qualifications. That is why I want to bring this case to the court.”

The first court hearing is scheduled for July 24.