by Ugo Ukabam, Esq., Gray Plant Mooty, Minneapolis

Employers operate in an increasingly complex legal environment, made all the more difficult by the tough economy. Hiring has emerged as a particular trouble spot.

You need to hire and maintain a skilled and productive workforce. But you must watch out for legal liability that can surface in the process.

Employment advertisements

A help-wanted ad that directly or indirectly states a preference for applicants based on gender, age, or other protected characteristic is generally unlawful.

When you advertise for an opening, list only the necessary job-related skills and qualifications—for example, “must be able to lift 50 lbs.”—rather than assumptions about who can perform the functions of the position—such as “male furniture-mover wanted.”

There are exceptions to this general rule, e.g., when an employer has adopted a lawful affirmative action plan or the preferred characteristi...(register to read more)

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