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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It’s perfectly legal for an employer to decline to hire or promote someone even if he’s the only applicant. In fact, it may very well be a good business decision to wait under those circumstances.

Have you reminded managers and supervisors that they should keep their dress professional when conducting interviews? If not, do so. Attire that’s too casual—especially if it features a potentially offensive logo or design—can easily lead to a discrimination lawsuit.

At some point, an unsuccessful job candidate may challenge your decision not to hire him. Then you will have to justify your selection process. The more objective criteria you use, the more likely a court will agree not to second-guess your decision. But if you add subjective elements to the process, you may end up being charged with discrimination.

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) expresses a clear legislative intent to prohibit discrimination in all aspects of the employment relationship. However, the NJLAD allows employers to refuse to accept for employment or promote anyone over 70 years of age. The law does prohibit firing someone over 70 because of age. This exception was the subject of a recent New Jersey Supreme Court ruling.

Audrey Sheftall and her granddaughter both applied for jobs at Perdue Farms’ Lewiston facility on the same day. Perdue hired the granddaughter, but not the 66-year-old Sheftall. Sheftall complained to the EEOC that Perdue had discriminated against her because she was no longer—ahem—a spring chicken.

Bolingbrook-based Quantum Foods faces a national-origin discrimination lawsuit from the EEOC, based on a Hispanic worker’s claim that he was terminated because of his national origin. The EEOC sought hiring records for the facility for the past four years.

In age discrimination cases, employees only have to show they were replaced by someone younger, or otherwise discharged because of age. You will have a much easier time showing that you had a legitimate reason unrelated to age for terminating the employee if you can cite specific business reasons to back up each part of your decision-making process.
The U.S. Supreme Court in late May unanimously sided with a group of black firefighter applicants who alleged that the city of Chicago’s employment selection process had a disparate impact on them. The court said the timing of Title VII lawsuits doesn’t depend on when the alleged discriminatory act first occurred, but on when the employer acted on the results of that discriminatory act, even if that’s years later.
Q. We currently have a policy against the hiring of anyone with a felony conviction. Can you shed some light on whether this policy is legal?
If you use independent contractors, make sure they have the freedom to work for other clients and largely set their own schedules. Those criteria are important for determining whether someone is eligible for unemployment.
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