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.

Q. Can I implement a rule against hiring people who are overweight?

Judges rarely second-guess the decisions of employers that use reasonable methods to hire or promote the best candidates. By using objective criteria and documenting the selection process, savvy employers win most cases.

Here’s one of the easiest ways to reduce your chances of losing a race discrimination lawsuit: Make sure the same person or group who chose to hire an employee in the first place also makes the decision to terminate her. That makes it much harder for the employee to show she was fired for a discriminatory reason.

With so many companies focused on downsizing to contain costs in a down economy, many employers have failed to prepare for a pending change that will significantly alter workforce demographics. Beginning in 2011, the first of the baby boomers will turn 65. As the rest of the roughly 70 million baby boomers follow, we’ll see a major shift in the age of our society—and our workforces. This shift will have a significant impact on employers.

If your business relies on hiring casual laborers and you routinely pay a set price for a day’s work, don’t assume your workers are independent contractors. If one of them falls or is injured, chances are a court will conclude he’s an employee due workers’ compensation benefits. If you don’t carry workers’ comp insurance, you’ll be on the hook for big bucks.

Q. My company wants to begin substance-abuse testing of employees that it suspects are under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the workplace. We already have a drug- and alcohol-free workplace policy. Is there anything else we need to do to allow us to test employees for illegal drugs or alcohol?

Some HR departments are notorious for keeping every stack of paper indefinitely, while others fail to keep enough. Neither approach is acceptable, and it’s up to you to maintain a happy medium that complies with the law. Proper record-keeping is one of an HR professional’s core duties. Knowing what legally must be kept and for how long are important aspects of that duty.

An amendment to Section 195(1) of the New York Labor Law now requires New York employers to give new employees written notification of their regular and overtime rates of pay and their regular payday.

Despite a summer of political circus distractions in Albany, the New York Legislature continued to crank out laws that further regulate New York employers. Here are some recent changes to New York State laws that you need to take into consideration.

If you’re one of the hundreds of Ohio employers that capitalized on job-creating state tax incentives a few years ago, expect to hear from state authorities shortly. Attorney General Richard Cordray has an assignment for you: Prove Ohio’s subsidy paid off in actual jobs.