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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.

Three companies headquartered in Florida have made the 2009 Fortune magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For” list: Publix Super Markets, headquartered in Lakeland; Baptist Health South, of Coral Gables; and JM Family Enterprises, based in Deerfield Beach.

The California Labor Code prohibits potential employers from asking about marijuana possession convictions more than two years old. But sometimes, federal law overrides state law—and that’s the case for employers that are hiring potential employees to work in pharmacies.

Fifteen companies headquartered in California have made the 2009 Fortune magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. Why did so many California companies make the list? Great benefits seem to be the reason.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates how your company performs a job background check on applicants. Contrary to popular belief, this federal law doesn’t just cover credit checks. It covers any background report, such as driving records and criminal histories obtained from a “consumer reporting agency.”

The calendar turns to spring, and you know what’s coming. It’s that time of year when employers are swamped with requests from college students for unpaid internships. The benefits of the symbiotic relationship are obvious. But the legal risks are not ...

Chalk it up to the rule of unanticipated consequences: Banks that took federal bailout money are rescinding job offers to foreign-born MBAs. No, it’s not discrimination based on foreign origin. Rather, it’s one of the strings attached to billions in TARP funds.

With unemployment at its highest level since 1983, many applicants have far more experience and education than the job requires. But be alert: Advise hiring managers to avoid using the term “overqualified” in front of job candidates or in any written description of them. Rejected applicants could view the term as an age-related code word, thus sparking an age discrimination lawsuit.

You have to wonder what they’re thinking when directors snap up CEOs with records of spectacular failure. Robert Nardelli from Home Depot to Chrysler; Don Carty from American Airlines to Virgin Airlines; and George Shaheen from Webvan to Siebel. All went down in flames, yet ejected unharmed.

Mounting layoffs are creating a glut of qualified and aggressive job hunters who are desperate for work. As their frustration grows, more applicants are reading deeper into their rejection letters—sometimes spotting job promises or hints of discrimination that you never intended.

HR pros have two important items to add to their to-do lists this week:

  • Ensure that this week’s payroll reflects more generous federal income tax withholding levels mandated by the economic stimulus law enacted in February.
  • Start using the new Form I-9 on Friday, April 3.