If you have a fairly informal job application process, now’s the time to firm it up. The prolonged economic downturn means you’re likely to receive more and more applications. And that means more potential for lawsuits from unsuccessful job seekers.
Here’s a good way to start: Establish a uniform posting system so everyone interested in your job openings knows where to look. Then log every application you receive. If you’re later challenged in court, you’ll be able to show how many applications you received and who applied.
Recent case: Trevor Bright, who is black, sought a position with GB Bioscience after working there as a temporary employee. He claimed that he dropped off his résumé at a receptionist’s desk several times over the course of a few months. The company never called him in for an interview. He sued, alleging race discrimination.
But GB Bioscience showed it kept careful track of all résumés, and said it didn’t get Bright’s first few résumés at all. When hiring for one position, it said it did receive Bright’s résumé (along with those of numerous highly experienced applicants) but chose not to interview him.
The court dismissed Bright’s claims. It believed the company had not received Bright’s first résumés, and concluded the company had a good reason for not interviewing him for the last position—there were simply many better-qualified applicants. (Bright v. GB Bioscience, No. 07-20926, 5th Cir., 2008)
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