If you can’t explain how you select candidates or why you hired one applicant instead of another, get ready for court!
However, there’s a simple, two-step way to keep from being sued:
- Create a hiring process that makes sense.
- Follow it rigorously.
Recent case: Hamid Amini was born in Afghanistan and moved to the United States in 1991. He eventually became a U.S. citizen, graduated from college and received specialized training in law enforcement. Thus he was qualified to work as a police officer.
Amini applied for a position in the Minneapolis Police Department. Applicants there have to take an oral and written examination, a fitness test, a psychological exam and submit to a. The final step involves someone from HR questioning the candidate about his or her qualifications, including the results.
The city then ranks applicants as either qualified or not. The qualified applicants become eligible for hire.
Everything went well for Amini until his background check interview. Apparently, Amini hadn’t mentioned that he had been fired from a previous job for losing his temper following an altercation over a parking spot. Another employer had also disciplined him for relatively minor offenses. When confronted with these incidents, Amini became angry and defensive and lost his temper.
The police department then deemed Amini ineligible for hire because the ability to resolve conflict is an important part of police work.
Amini sued, alleging that he had been singled out because of his race.
But the court tossed out the case. It reasoned that the city had a well-developed and rational selection process, and that the reasons it gave for excluding Amini from the qualified list were valid and not a pretext for discrimination. (Amini v. City of Minneapolis, No. 09-435, DC MN, 2010)
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