City employees uncomfortable with Adams' request for pictures of potential hires: report

Adams
Photo credit Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Mayor Eric Adams’ office instructed city agencies to provide him with photographs of all potential hires during the interview process, a request that makes some city employees uncomfortable.

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Adams claims he made the request so he can recognize municipal employees, though he didn’t explain why the pictures can’t be submitted after a hiring decision is made.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suggests employers avoid asking for photographs from applicants.

“Employers should not ask for a photograph of an applicant,” wrote the agency on its list of prohibited employment practices. “If needed for identification purposes, a photograph may be obtained after an offer of employment is made and accepted.”

Several anonymous city employees who spoke to Politico for the report that first publicized the practice said staff feel the request is part of a diversity push manifesting as direct micromanagement from City Hall.

They also said the practice creates unnecessary delays to an already sluggish hiring process, at a time when the city is struggling to fill job vacancies.

An Adams staffer sent an email on April 19 with a template that those in charge of hiring should send to the mayor’s office with candidate information, including a photo.

In April, 8% of municipal positions went unfilled, according to data from the Citizens Budget Commission.

A spokesperson for Adams said the only function of the request is for mayor to better recognize the faces of staff.

“City Hall reviews the resume of all final candidates for senior level positions at agencies to ensure the mayor and we at City Hall know who is point on projects when working with them,” said the spokesperson. “The Adams administration is hiring the best people for the best jobs in the best city in the world. And we are committed to building a team that reflects the city they serve and the administration they represent. Every hire is judged on their qualifications and whether they will be able to deliver for New Yorkers day after day.”

Two employees told Politico that they often take photos from social media sites to avoid asking potential hires for pictures — a practice that raises concerns about consent.

When asked about the practice at an unrelated press conference on Thursday, Adams scoffed at the concerns of New York City municipal workers, and suggested they’re mad that he enjoys being the mayor.

“You know, a lot of people just start their day with saying, ‘Let me see what I can think hateful about.’ You know, I start my day off saying, ‘Wow, I’m lucky to be the mayor of New York City,’” he said. “You know, I’m amazed at how much people are upset that I’m happy that I’m mayor.”