It’s tough enough to get a job these days, but Colorado-based New Belgium brewery, which produces the popular Fat Tire beer and others, gives job candidates one more hoop to jump through – a cultural fit.  This may sound ok on its face; however, the admission came in a Wall Street Journal article yesterday about the discussion of politics in the workplace.

Here’s the excerpt:

“In Colorado, executives  at New Belgium Brewing Co. have made their political views public. Indeed, CEO  Kim Jordan attended the Democratic Convention in Charlotte earlier this year.  Favored candidates have also been permitted to hold events at the brewery.

Still, “we try to be really careful to allow everyone to have their own  opinion,” says Jenn Vervier, the director of sustainability and strategic  planning at the 450-employee company. Because the company considers “cultural  fit” when hiring, she says, most staffers tend to agree on partisan issues.”

According to Wikipedia, which is always right (or rightish), employment discrimination is discrimination in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, and compensation. It includes various types of harassment. Many jurisdictions prohibit some types of employment discrimination, often by forbidding discrimination based on certain traits (“protected categories”).

Protected categories may include: race or color, ethnicity or national origin, sex or gender, pregnancy, religion or creed, political affiliation, language abilities, citizenship, disability or medical condition, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status.

We’ve certainly worked in environments in which “cultural fit” is important, but cultural fit is typically embodied by qualities like “self-starter”, “innovative”, “entreprenurial”.  Not screening for political affiliation.

So, did (does?) New Belgium commit employment discrimination in considering “cultural fit” that allows most staffers to “agree on partisan issues” when hiring?  Does this impact your willingness to purchase New Belgium products?

Perhaps this is just another chapter in the tolerance of the left.