Stop suits with standard job application process

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in Employment Law,Hiring,Human Resources

Do people who want to work for you understand exactly what they need to do to apply for jobs? If not, now is a good time to revamp your hiring process.

Start with a consistent process for all jobs—with no exemptions.

Here’s why it’s so crucial to handle all openings the same: If someone doesn’t properly apply for a job, he can’t sue you for discrimination. If you have a clear process—and he knows about it—you can readily show he didn’t apply.

Recent case: Karan Gupta was a former New York City School Construction Authority employee who wanted to come back to work.

He sent his résumé to several employment agencies and left one message with a former colleague about an authority job he heard would be open. But he never officially applied for the position.

Gupta sued, alleging he hadn’t been considered for the job because of his national origin and race, as well as in retaliation for an earlier discrimination complaint he had pending before the EEOC.

But the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals said he had no case because he had never applied for the construction authority job. The court said it would place an unfair burden on employers to have to consider every person who expressed an interest in every position. Instead, employers can rely on their application process to look for applicants. (Gupta v. New York City School Construction Authority, No. 07-2991, 2nd Cir., 2008)

Final note:
Post every opening, along with the job description and minimum qualifications, on the company intranet, the bulletin board or in the employee newsletter. Tell employees to refer interested people to HR. Give application instructions to all who express interest. Retain all applications, even those you reject.

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