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.

It can happen at the best of companies: You discover that a careless supervisor or manager made some comments that might be interpreted as prejudiced. When that happens, you know to discipline that employee. But what do you do when the employee who was the target of the comments is up for promotion?

According to a forecast by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Miami area will suffer some of the largest job losses in the nation in 2009. Miami is expected to lose about 85,000 jobs this year. The city’s unemployment rate may exceed 10%.

Employers that ignore their employees’ sexual harassment pleas—beware. Not only may you be liable under Title VII, but you may be liable under state law, too. And that can mean huge damage awards far beyond federal caps.

You can never know beforehand which applicant might sue you. That’s one good reason to track every hiring decision and document why you hired some candidates and not others.

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.

Government employees who speak out on matters of public importance and are punished for doing so may be able to sue for unlawful retaliation. They may even be able to make those claims years later—if they can show a connection between speaking out and an adverse employment action.

It’s crucial to handle all job 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.

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.”