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Use blind résumé review for bias-free hiring, promotions

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act makes it unlawful to refuse to hire or recruit someone because of “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight or marital status.” But applicants sometimes provide that information on their résumés.

Have someone take those résumés and black out any information that hints at any of those protected categories. Use those stripped versions to select who to interview.

Recent case: Bridget Ray, who is black, sued when her employer didn’t select her application for the first round of interviews for an open position.  She claimed the reason was her race. But the employer could show that when it picked candidates to interview, it never knew the applicants’ races. Therefore, it couldn’t have screened Ray out due to her race.

The court agreed and dismissed the case. (Ray v. Oakland County Circuit Court, No. 07-CV-14942, ED MI, 2008)

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