The government has since apologized.
STROUD, UK — A British salon owner was told she couldn’t post a job looking for a “happy” hairstylist because doing so “discriminated against unhappy people.”
BBC News reports AJ’s Unisex Hair Salon in Stroud, Gloucestershire, created an online job posting earlier this week, describing itself as a “happy salon looking for happy people.” The position called for five years of experience, according to Fox News.
Not long after, the British government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which operates the Jobcentre Plus website where the job opening was posted, reached out to owner Alison Birch about the wording.
The 54-year-old initially thought it was a joke. Then, she realized the department was serious.
“They said we can’t place your advert because you have put a discriminatory word in it and we need to change it,” Birch told BBC. “They said you’re not allowed to use the word happy, in case somebody thinks they can’t apply because they are not a happy person.”
The conversation made Birch begin to question her own logic.
“Was I being a bit sensitive, and is the word happy discriminative? Or has this whole world all gone mad?” Birch said, according to Fox News.
The DWP has since said its call was a mistake.
“We mistakenly advised a customer to amend a job advert but have since offered to repost the original copy and apologised for the error,” a spokesperson told BBC.
Birch is still looking for a part-time stylist and has not yet received any applications.
“I only want happy people but I am too scared to advertise my job now in case I discriminate against anybody,” she told BBC.
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