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Hiring

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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The students thought they were signing up for a cultural exchange program in which they would travel to Pennsylvania to work and experience life in Hershey. Instead they ended up working in warehouses preparing Hershey products for shipping. Along with members of the AFL-CIO, they recently protested outside the warehouse facilities.

Today’s tight economy has prompted many employers to try to reduce costs—including overtime—by classifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees. That hasn’t escaped the notice of the U.S. Department of Labor, which has stepped up efforts to deter misclassification.

Q. Our company has an office in Philadelphia. Can we ask about an applicant’s criminal and arrest record when recruiting employees to work there?
Q. Our company has an office in Philadelphia. Can we ask about an applicant’s criminal and arrest record when recruiting employees to work there?

The New Jersey Civil Service Com­­mission has settled a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice concerning its promotion practices for police sergeants. The DOJ alleged the state’s method of scoring and using written examinations had a disparate impact on black and Hispanic officers in violation of Title VII.

Q. We are interested in hiring someone who is currently working for another company in H-1B status. Do we have to file a new H-1B application before this person can work for our company? If so, how long do we have to wait until he can start work?
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to expand the ways in which employees who are passed over for promotions can sue. It turned down a request to allow a lawsuit alleging that previously denied promotions could be considered as evidence of bias in later promotion denials.

Employers that develop clear, fair and transparent hiring processes seldom have to worry about losing a failure-to-hire lawsuit. That’s true even if they end up using so-called subjective reasons for not hiring a candidate. Simply put, judges are impressed when it looks like a potential employer bends over backward to ensure it doesn’t discriminate.

Employers sometimes think that if they hire “independent contractors,” they won’t have to worry about things like benefits, overtime and the like. But some make the mistake of ­assuming that merely because those workers sign contracts stating that they’re not employees, that’s enough. It’s not.

It’s common to tell a job applicant he’s hired—as long as a background check doesn’t reveal anything that would disqualify him. But some applicants think such an offer creates a contractual relationship. Under most circumstances, it doesn’t.

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