Recruiting and Hiring Procedures
For many employers the primary objective in the recruiting and hiring process is to generate a pool of qualified candidates from which the employer can then identify and hire the most qualified applicant. While most employers realize that their recruiting and hiring practices have the potential for legal liability, not all realize that choosing not to incorporate certain practices can also result in legal liability. The following information is by no means exhaustive, but is intended to give an employer some assistance in developing recruiting and hiring procedures that minimize the risk of discrimination legal liability.
In Utah, an employer’s hiring procedures may be regulated by several federal and state laws and regulations such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Utah laws and regulations include the Utah Antidiscrimination Act. In general, these laws and regulations prohibit discrimination against job applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy, childbirth or pregnancy-related condition.
Tips to avoid discrimination claims in the job advertisement process:
• Do not place job advertisements in sections or columns categorized on the basis of sex.
• Use gender neutral language in job titles and job descriptions.
• Do not use language that explicitly or implicitly suggests a preference for a particular race, religion, national origin, sex or age group.
• Include in each job advertisement a statement that your company is an equal opportunity employer.
Tips to avoid discrimination claims in the employment application process:
Remove questions from the employment application and interview process that elicit unnecessary information from the job applicant concerning race, religion, national origin, sex or age. It is permissible to include questions designed to determine whether the applicant is of minimum legal age and authorized to work in the United States.
• Remove questions from the employment application and interview process concerning marital status, pregnancy, child-bearing, child-care, the number and ages of the applicant’s children.
• Remove questions from the employment application and interview process concerning whether the application has been arrested. It may be permissible to ask applicants to disclose whether they have been convicted of crimes.
• Remove questions from the employment application and interview process concerning the applicants’ credit history or economic status unless there is a legitimate concern that is job related.
• Remove questions from the employment application and interview process concerning the height and weight of the applicant.
• Remove questions from the employment application and interview process concerning physical and mental condition, handicap and disability. It is permissible to make pre-employment inquiries about an applicant’s ability to perform job related tasks.
• Remove questions from the employment application and interview process concerning organizational memberships, charitable activities, hobbies, personal interests, and military experience.
If you would like me to review your existing recruiting and hiring procedures or assist you in developing recruiting and hiring procedures feel free to reach out to us directly at the number listed below.