Q. If we don't have a job opening, are we required to hand out applications to anyone who asks? Or can we just say that we're not taking applications at this time? —J. I., Washington
A. You have no legal requirement to hand out applications when you aren't hiring. That said, putting aside the legal issue, many employers find it useful to establish hiring policies that say applications will be accepted at any time and retained for a specific period of time thereafter (e.g., 30 or 60 days). Also, a well-crafted hiring policy often makes it easier to defend against failure-to-hire claims. A hiring policy should also include an equal employment opportunity statement.
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