by Ugo Ukabam, Esq.
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. Here are the key liability hot spots you must watch out for in the hiring process:
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, such as when an employer has adopted a lawful affirmative action plan or the preferred characteristic is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) for the position being advertised.
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