Employment applications may seem innocuous, but they contain a number of minefields of which employers should be aware. In general, avoid asking applicants questions that elicit information that cannot be considered when making a hiring decision. In particular, beware:
1. Including disability-related or medical questions. Any such inquiry would violate EEOC guidance and possibly the ADA and similar state laws. If you ask an applicant such a question, the EEOC or a court may presume prohibited information was a factor in hiring.
2. Not including an at-will disclaimer. You may want to inform applicants that the application is not intended to and does not create a contract or offer of employment and state that, if hired, employment would be on an at-will basis and could be terminated at the will of either party.
An at-will disclaimer helps to avoid any claim that the application is an offer of guaranteed employment or to def...(register to read more)