June 29, 2017
Portland Doughnut Shop Is Being Criticized For Its 'Unusual' Job Posting, No Dietary Restrictions Allowed

A Portland doughnut shop is raising eyebrows for its rather specific job posting by asking employees with "non-medical" and "non-religious" dietary restrictions to not apply, NWCN is reporting.

Everybody has that one friend who is impossible to eat with: they're vegan, gluten-free, won't eat refined white sugar, only eat organic, free-trade, sustainably-grown foods -- yada yada yada. Pete Snell, the owner of Pip's Original Doughnuts & Chai in northeast Portland, doesn't want any of that in his employees. In a job posting, which you can read here, Pete makes it clear that he expects his employees to actually eat the doughnuts they sell so they can describe the flavors to any potential customers.

"No non-medical, non-religious dietary restrictions that would stop you from tasting, accurately representing our food and maintaining quality control to maintain the highest standards of food safety and excellence. We serve products with meat ( including bacon) nuts, diary and our doughnuts contain wheat gluten."

By all measures, a job at Pip's doughnuts sounds like a pretty sweet gig. Advertising itself as "The Best Job in Portland?" employees get free breakfast, a flexible schedule, only have to work from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. ("so our employees can have a life"), an extra $30 in each paycheck that they're asked to spend on someone less fortunate, and so on.

Portland doughnut shop
A happy (and, presumably, non-vegan) employee at Pip's Original Doughnuts & Chai in Portland [Image via Facebook]

But when it comes to not hiring vegans or other picky eaters (again, it bears noting that he'll hire people with dietary restrictions if they're for religious or medical reasons), Snell is having none of it.

"If the employee was to say something like 'well, I don't eat meat or I don't eat gluten, or I don't eat nuts or dairy,' any one of those things would preclude them from being able to give [the customer] an honest answer of what that [doughnut] tastes like or how good it is."

Is Snell's posting legal? As it turns out, it is. A spokesperson for Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries said that dietary restrictions are not considered a "protected class" like religion or sexual orientation are. For example, if Snell had said that Christians or gays need not apply, that would have run afoul of Oregon's (and federal) labor laws. But since he only specified dietary restrictions (and even made an exception for medical and religious dietary restrictions), his posting is legal.

And, he's willing to compromise on the vegan bit.

"If you email me respectfully and say, 'I really want to work for you, I'm vegan, but here's what I propose as a work-around,' I would love to listen to that."

So Pip is in the clear legally, but what about morally? That, of course, depends on whom you ask. But as Pip posted on his Facebook page, not everyone is on board with Snell's reluctance to hire vegans.

"We have received numerous hateful emails and are being relentlessly cyber-bullied by a group of people using fear and intimidation tactics. Why? All because we listed a non-medical, voluntary dietary requirement in our help wanted ad."

However, whether it's because negative comments have been deleted, or because they've been buried by positive messages, comments on Pip's Facebook page appear to be almost uniformly positive, with some trying to lighten the mood with some good-natured humor.

Valerie Marvin: "I am also a qualified donut taster and am willing to give my opinion on the taste / texture / etc of each donut. May have to try two of each for [Quality Assurance] purposes."

Do you think the Portland doughnut shop's job posting is offensive or immoral?

[Image via udra11/Shutterstock]