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Requiring fees from applicants

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Q. We have a problem with applicants who pass the pre-hiring process but then decide for some reason that they don’t want the job after all. By the time we learn this, we have already spent time and money on drug tests and orientation, and turned down other applicants. Can we require applicants to submit fees to apply, which we will refund if we don’t hire them, or if they remain employed for a minimum period of time?

There is no Colorado law that explicitly precludes you from doing this. Depending on how high the fee is, there might be an argument that it has a disproportionate impact on minority groups. If that is true, it might lead to a disparate-impact civil rights claim. Another risk is whether it will discourage people from applying in the first place.

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