When hiring employees, negligent hiring practices can doom the process. Learn from your colleagues’ successes – and avoid their pitfalls.

Smart interview questions, well-written job descriptions, and sharp interviewing result in hiring employees that work out well, AND make you look good in the process.

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As you try to cut costs in a tough economy, it may be tempting to outsource some HR functions to an independent contractor instead of continuing to do them in-house. Before you make that move, consider this: Employers may be liable for discrimination practiced by the outsourced independent contractor.

A new law, the Veterans’ Benefit Improvement Act, makes it absolutely critical for you to retain records of how you handled any hiring process involving military veterans. Those covered by USERRA now can sue at any time, no matter how long ago an employer allegedly violated their rights. Fortunately, the 7th Circuit has ruled that the law isn’t retroactive.

Q. What is the Illinois Employee Classification Act? I’m not sure if it applies to my company.

The Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act says, “Before requesting an employee to undergo drug or alcohol testing, an employer shall provide the employee with a form, developed by the employer, on which to acknowledge that the employee has seen the employer’s drug and alcohol testing policy.” Does that mean the employee has to sign the form immediately before the test is administered?

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in late September upheld a lower court ruling that the National Football League cannot suspend Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams for violating the sport’s drug policy.

Businesses and nonprofits that receive taxpayer money and contract with government agencies to provide services may be prohibited from using religious criteria in hiring and firing. And hiring on the basis of someone’s religious beliefs or affiliation may be proof that an employer has crossed the line.

The EEOC has sued Digital Cable and Communications South, a Parma-based cable TV installation company, for allegedly refusing to hire female applicants for cable technician jobs.

 We all like to think we’ve moved beyond race discrimination, but the number of race bias lawsuits being filed suggests otherwise. That’s why employers need to make sure their hiring and discharge practices don’t discriminate. 

Q. Our company maintains an affirmative action plan. I’m concerned, however, that if we refuse to hire a white applicant because of the plan, that person might be able to sue us for discrimination. Yet, if we don’t follow the plan, minority applicants can sue us. It seems like a Catch-22. What do we do?

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed an earlier decision made just months ago and ruled that when a woman asks for a raise to equal her male counterpart’s pay, ignoring the request is the same as denying the request. The employee may then file a Title VII pay discrimination claim ...

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