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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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Q. We keep hearing that retaliation can be a bigger lawsuit worry for employers than even discrimination or harassment. What kinds of employment laws impose retaliation liability?

As part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the city of Dayton has revised its police entrance examination. The DOJ and Dayton had settled a 2009 suit involving allegations that the city discriminated against black applicants who applied for jobs in both the police and fire departments.

Here’s a new worry for employers: If you have a supervisor who makes hiring promises to an applicant that he knows the company can’t keep, the applicant may be able to sue for fraud.

Some employees and applicants think that if they sue often enough, they’ll eventually end up collecting the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Fortunately, judges don’t like wasting valuable courtroom time on meritless cases. More and more, they are blocking efforts to file additional lawsuits by employees acting as their own lawyers.

Many employers have adopted strict drug and alcohol testing programs for all new hires—and strictly bar employment of anyone who tests positive. Now the 9th Circuit has ruled that applying the rule to a recovering addict is legal unless that addict can somehow prove that the rule discriminates against a class of disabled individuals—namely, recovering addicts.
Q. Recently, several employees suffered work-related injuries shortly after we hired them. As a result, our workers’ compensation premiums have soared. The company’s CEO, in an effort to avoid this problem, has directed us to hire only “careful” workers in the future. Is this legal?
You knew it was going to happen. With so much revenue at stake, the IRS has begun correspondence audits of employers that claimed the 6.2% Social Secur­ity credit against wages paid to new hires under the 2010 Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act.

How do you decide between two equally worthy candidates? When in doubt, hire the person with the best writing skills, says Kris Dunn, chief human resources officer for Kinetix and author of “The HR Capitalist” blog. Here’s why.

You may have heard that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published final regulations—which took effect May 16, 2011—regarding employers’ Form I-9 employment verification practices. The good news: You don’t need to change any of your current practices—as long as your forms and practices are up-to-date.

Can employees be fired for being too fat? Can a job candidate who is missing her front teeth be turned down? Is it OK to hire or fire someone because of personal grooming or appearance? Most likely, the answer is yes.

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