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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Q. We recently extended an employment offer to someone who was later determined to be unable to perform the job’s essential functions due to a visual impairment. As a result, we wasted a significant amount of time. Aren’t workers obligated under the ADA to disclose that they suffer from a disability?
A San Diego restaurant and catering company’s nine-year history of hiring undocumented workers came to an end in late 2011 when the owner pleaded guilty to federal charges.
Do you include an arbitration agreement in your employment applications? If so, it may not be enforceable, according to a recent decision by the Court of Appeal of California.
With so many qualified people applying for jobs these days, it’s much harder for unsuccessful candidates to win hiring discrimination lawsuits. That’s because em­­ployers choosing the best candidate often zero in on one bit of experience or a skill that stands out from other applicants. It’s hard to argue that that’s discrimination.
Q. When, if ever, can our company legally ask an applicant about his or her religious affiliation?
Many government agencies require applicants to live in the jurisdictions they will serve. There may be good reasons, too—like wanting public servants to understand the communities where they work or making sure they are available quickly in an emergency. That doesn’t mean those reasons won’t be challenged.
Thomasville City Schools will pay $25,000 and provide age discrimination training to key personnel under a settlement agreement with a would-be school principal and the EEOC.

Sometimes, it’s a close call to decide who will be the best fit for a job or promotion. There may be several candidates with the relevant education, training and experience. If that’s the case, the decision may come down to who has the best “soft” skills—subjective qualities indicating a good fit. Checking applicants’ references can break that tie.

Job applicants aren’t required to reveal dis­­abilities during the hiring process. That means you may occasionally find yourself making a job offer to someone you don’t realize is disabled. At that point, what you say and what you do may mean the difference between smoothly integrating a new employee into the workforce and a costly, drawn-out lawsuit.

U.S. combat operations in Iraq ended in December, and the Depart­ment of Defense is gradually drawing down forces in Afghanistan. As you rehire employees returning from military service, make sure you follow USERRA guidelines. How to comply:
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