Skip to comments.City Defends Hiring Non-Swimming Minorities as Lifeguards
Posted on 04/05/2013 7:05:29 PM PDT by John Semmens
While taking some flak for doing so, City of Phoenix officials are standing by their decision to accept non-swimming minorities as pool lifeguards.
The problem with requiring swimming proficiency as a condition of employment is that minorities would be under-represented among those we hire, City Parks and Recreation Administrator Alfredo Zote observed. The Mayor has asked us to strive for a workforce that mirrors the composition of the Citys population. We cant do that if we impose qualifications that have a disproportionate impact on any racial or ethnic groups.
As to whether the ability to swim might not be a crucial skill in the performance of the job, Zote demurred. Few of the annual drownings that occur in our state are at public pools, he pointed out. And we can team the non-swimming minority hire with a strong-swimming white hiree. That way the non-swimmer can help spot a potential drowning victim and direct the swimmer to rescue him.
While Zote acknowledged that he had no idea on whether the new policy would have any negative consequences for the safety of visitors to any of the Citys 23 public pools he did ask that critics balance any undesired outcomes at the pools with the social gains of our minority hiring policy. Providing employment for disfavored groups is not without its benefits. Whether their gains in self-esteem outweigh losses in terms of injury or fatalities at our sites is, in my opinion, a judgment call.
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So is this for real?
Lifeguards that can’t swim, cause some just have to be (insert “minority” group)?
As my comment explained why, I would expect that a pool that knowingly employed lifeguards who couldn't swim would be shutdown fast with $$$$ lawsuits at the first accident.
In Maryland my favorite swimming hole (100 years old in business) was closed by a lawsuit $$$ because someone drowned in spite of the 'swim at your own risk' signs.
Maybe this would work if they were put in the shallow end and were red bathing caps. They could wade to the victim.
In fact, our town hires minority blind guys to drive the garbage trucks and minority quadriplegics to hang onto the rear of the trucks between dumps of the garbage cans into the hoppers.