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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As part of the hiring process, supervisors are sometimes called on to check an applicant’s references. Those phone calls can help you accurately assess a person’s strengths, weaknesses and past job performance. But checking references can also be challenging—and legally tricky. Here are six guidelines for soliciting information without bumping into legal issues:

Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, who represents the 15th District of Texas in Congress, recently announced that the Justice Department has awarded $59,546 to fund a project aimed at reducing employment discrimination against Texans authorized to work in the United States regardless of their national origin.
The California Supreme Court has issued a decision in a closely watched construction liability case that involved an independent contractor’s injury. It concluded that true independent contractors working in construction are responsible for making sure the workplace is safe and can’t claim that the hiring contractor or owner was liable for any resulting injuries.
Balance Staffing’s short-sighted treatment of a visually impaired recruiter will cost it $100,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit.

The new health care reform law gives mothers the legal right to express breast milk at work. But that’s brought a new problem to the fore: co-workers—or even supervisors—making jokes or inappropriate comments about the practice. Remind everyone that lactation is no joking matter. Otherwise, you could have a sexual harassment case on your hands.

Junior Revels, age 76, has been a diesel mechanic for a long time. So long, in fact, that when he applied for a job at Southern Metals in Charlotte, the company flat out told him it had decided to hire someone younger. Bad move.

The EEOC has sued Newark- and Port Elizabeth-based automotive processor FAPS Inc., for race and disability discrimination. The suit charges the company with engaging in a “pattern and practice” that discriminates against black applicants and asking job-application questions that violate the ADA.

On paper, internships are good for everyone. Interns learn a business and make connections in organizations where they hope to one day get jobs. In turn, businesses pay nearly nothing for work that needs to be done. However, the U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a fact sheet that casts that equation into doubt.

Q. Is it OK for me to consider information about a job applicant that I learn by using Google, viewing Facebook pages and reviewing Twitter feeds?

The immigration law landscape keeps changing, and employers must keep up. Even employees who are in the United States illegally can sue you for unpaid overtime. Now you also have to be aware of another risk: Clever attorneys have begun filing RICO Act lawsuits, alleging that some employers are essentially running “mob” operations by knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

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