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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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Sometimes, it’s hard to distinguish one applicant from another. That’s especially true for unskilled positions. How do you choose? If one of the factors you use is work history, rest assured it is unlikely your choice will be challenged successfully.
Q. When interviewing prospective employees, will I violate the ADA by asking how many days of work they missed during the past year at their prior jobs?

Do you live in fear of being sued for discrimination? Don’t let it compromise your legitimate decisions. If you’re confident that you have good reasons to fire someone, don’t worry about whom you hire to replace that employee. Even if the replacement is outside the fired employee’s protected class, she probably won’t be able to successfully sue you.

If a company that’s considering hiring one of your former employees calls for a reference check, think twice before saying you can’t recommend him. If that employee engaged in protected activity while working for you, he may see your negative reference as retaliation for that activity. And that may spur a lawsuit.
Here’s a warning you should make sure supervisors hear loud and clear: No one in management should ever mention a protected characteristic (such as age, race or gender) while discussing a promotion or hiring decision.

Sometimes, a handful of bitter employees can poison the workplace atmosphere so much that production falls. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy to figure out who’s to blame. Here’s one way that sometimes works: Conduct a thorough assessment of the workplace by interviewing all the employees. What you learn may surprise you and provide the impetus to make some sorely needed changes.

Given the low cost and the easy accessibility of electronic records storage, many employers are making the digital leap to “paperless” HR. But despite the many benefits of going paperless, a host of legal problems could derail even the best-intentioned digital records plan. Carefully consider these legal issues when transitioning to an electronic personnel records system.
Judges understand that human emotion plays a part in some personnel actions—especially in cases involving alleged retaliation. They know that if an employer was planning to retaliate for something an employee did, it wouldn’t wait several years to act.

Employers can’t punish employees for complaining about alleged discrimination or harassment. That’s true even if the complaint doesn’t pan out, as long as the employees complained in good faith. But judges don’t want employees to use the threat of a retaliation lawsuit as a way to circumvent fair discipline, either. There’s a way for employers to get judges on their side.

Given the low cost and the easy accessibility of electronic records storage, many employers are making the digital leap to “paperless” HR. But despite the many benefits of going paperless, a host of legal problems could derail even the best-intentioned digital records plan. Carefully consider these legal issues when transitioning to an electronic personnel records system.
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