On the surface, hiring a new employee appears to be an easy process. Post the job on a job board, solicit resumes, choose a few who match the bill, invite them to an interview, shortlist a few, verify references, and finally give the offer letter to whoever, depending on the number of openings. But, in actuality, it is far from easy.
It is a highly complicated process, and you must be aware of specific legal ramifications at all times. Even the questions you ask during an interview must be carefully selected. Otherwise, they may be interpreted as discriminatory. Each of the preceding steps must correspond to legal restrictions. Failure to do so can quickly land you in legal trouble. Here are a few main legal problems that a recruiter should be aware of during the recruitment and selection process.
Whether in a newspaper or on a job board, the phrasing of the job advertisement must be meticulously crafted. It should not favour a person based on their race, colour, religion, sexual preference, or political views. Discriminating against an applicant based on any of these characteristics is unlawful. Gender, age, and disability are some of the other factors. The EEOC also protects employees and job seekers against harassment based on any biased characteristics or retaliation if they make a formal complaint about discriminatory practices or aid with an inquiry along similar lines.
Many organisations need prospective employees to participate in a pre-employment examination, which is an area ripe for recruitment-related disputes. The following should be avoided in assessments:
- Discriminate against or harm a protected minority
- Unreasonably high requirements that are irrelevant to the job
- Invasion of Privacy
To demonstrate test validity, an employer must conduct a statistical analysis that demonstrates that the pre-employment assessment measures what it is supposed to measure without negatively influencing a protected group. Therefore, when selecting a pre-employment or talent assessment provider, an employer must ensure that the test publisher can provide test validation.
During interviews, the questions you ask must be carefully crafted. Interview questions, like pre-employment assessments, must be carefully chosen so that they are not perceived as discriminatory. You must also define the job requirements in such a way that every applicant has an equal opportunity. For example, if the job requires the employee to be on call 24 hours a day, mention that openly rather than asking questions like, “Do you pick up your child after school?”. In circumstances of disability and religion, the EEOC expressly provides that employers make reasonable adjustments for workers’ or job candidates’ impairments or religious views unless doing so creates significant hardship or adds unaffordable expenses for the company.
Follow this golden rule: don’t ask references any questions you can’t bring up during an interview. For example, you are not permitted to inquire about an applicant’s impairment. Similarly, you cannot ask the same question of a former employer. Instead, ask questions about punctuality, performance level, work ethics, and teamwork skills. Keep in mind both federal and state rules when conducting background checks. For example, it is prohibited in some states to reject an application based on their credit history. However, it is legal in other states.
When presenting a formal job offer to a candidate, make sure that the remuneration is based only on the abilities and duties of the job. In unionised workplaces, remuneration is frequently based on seniority or quantity/quality of output. It should not be based on any of the previously listed discriminatory factors. The United States Department of Labour controls legal concerns with wage structure, such as minimum wage, overtime compensation, and severance packages. These should be known to the person in charge of human resources in your firm. The majority of small enterprises do not have a structured human resources department.
Contact Lamb, Carroll, Papp and Cunabaugh, P.C., Attorneys at Law today for legal help.