WorkWise Q&A: Does asking about church donations in interview invade privacy?

culp@workwise.netMay 20, 2012 

UNEXPECTED

Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I can't believe this, but my pastor BRAGGED about asking this question when he interviews potential employees: "Are you willing to donate ten percent of your salary to the church as a tithe?" People who refuse don't get the job.

I just don't think it's right to ask questions like that. The way a person chooses to spend money is a private matter, even if the person works for the church.

Astounded

A: Dear Astounded, Our society holds religious leaders to a higher standard than many other people. When they err, they often surprise and disappoint others.

You’re correct about invasion of privacy and the egotism behind the bragging. Your pastor also sounds as if he might well have been engaging in employment discrimination on religious grounds by selecting people only if they’d be members of his church. He seems oblivious to legal hiring practices.

This might be a very good time for you to convince church leaders to review his performance to see if there are other areas where he’s doing his flock a disservice. If these sorts of problems occur frequently, he might benefit from coaching ... or being coached out the door.

mlc

COMMUNICATION

Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I'm a Author and I have published my Books through a New York company. I was thinking of looking for a Publishing Industry based work, to make things much easier for me as a writer.

How do we get started to get a work that can get us more working experience. How do we find if there is an opportunity for us. I could enhance my career as well since I'm really interested in being a writer. By that I mean to have a great addition to my writing career. A industry based work, example, an editor, designer or writer can be very good if we get them. US or abroad would be better I think.

Considering

A: Dear Considering, Excellent communication is the most important skill for a person in the highly competitive publishing industry. Your grammar breaks many rules.

If, as you mentioned in your longer email, you want to use English as your first language, take college courses in English writing and speaking to prepare you for the industry. Look at Literary Market Place, available in print and online, for publishing houses to approach. Scour the Web for e-publishing. Take any job to start and move up.

mlc

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