A lot of people don’t realize how early in the hiring process your company is at risk of possible litigation. One wrong word in the interview process could land your company in hot water. This is why it’s important for your business to have a knowledgeable and reliable Human Resources Director who knows the law, and can help protect your company.
Even before someone joins your company, they have rights under the law. In fact, one could argue that the rights during the hiring process are just as great as they are once hired. You need to ensure that your company employs a hiring process that is in line with and conscious of the rules and regulations.
From the moment you place your job advertisement to the moment you ask your last interview question, you need to be careful. Otherwise, you could find your company named as a defendant in a discrimination suit.
It’s a good idea to meet with an experienced business law attorney to review your hiring processes. They can point out any weaknesses you may have. They can also identify any risks involved with your process.
Be Careful How You Advertise Your Job
The language and images you use in your job advertisement are very important. You have to make sure you don’t use any words or language that could be perceived as discriminatory. You also need to make sure your job description doesn’t violate any of the employment or discrimination laws.
Some of the most important things you need to be wary of are the following;
- Words or images having to do with race, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or religion
- Any language that implies that you won’t hire someone with a disability
- Comments about whether or not you’ll hire a pregnant woman
It may be a good idea to have your Connecticut business lawyer review any ad you intend to place. If you use a headhunter or job placement service, you’ll want to know what kind of advertisements they intend to use. Anything they say or do can be attributed to your company as well.
Types of Interview Questions You Need to Avoid
So, now that you have a handful of qualified candidates, it’s time to conduct some job interviews. Typically, these are handled by someone in Human Resources who is qualified to conduct an interview. However, if it’s a busy season or you’re short staffed, you may be tempted to let a manager or other member of personnel conduct the interviews.
You want to be careful in who you let conduct the interviews. Most people mean well, but if an employee says or does something in the interview session, it could come back to haunt you. And, since these sessions are very rarely recorded, it will be the candidate’s word against yours.
In order to protect your company, here are some things to steer clear of:
- Questions about whether or not the candidate has children
- Questions about marital status
- Asking if they’re a U.S. citizen
- Inquiring as to someone’s sexual orientation
- Asking if the candidate uses alcohol or drugs
- Referencing whether or not they have a disability in any way
- Commenting on someone’s age, weight, pregnancy, etc.
There are always situations when you may not be sure if a question is safe to ask. The best thing to do is err on the side of caution. You should also have your business lawyer in Connecticut review your list of interview questions before you present them to your Human Resources manager.
Common Mistakes Made Upon Hire
Once you’ve chosen a candidate, you’ll want to offer them the job. This is where it’s important not to make any promises or guarantees. A lot of companies get tied up in litigation when they promise a new hire certain benefits and don’t follow through with them.
Some of the things you’ll want to avoid stating include:
- Making promises of how much commission they’ll make their first year
- Guaranteeing yearly bonuses
- Promising them that they’ll be with the company forever
- Telling them they’ll move up in management in a certain amount of time.
All of these things can cause problems for your company. The best thing is to keep it vague and keep it simple.
Protect Your Company, Contact an Experienced Business Law Firm Today
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Rather than wait until you’ve been hit with a discrimination lawsuit, call and speak with an experienced business law attorney at Aeton Law Partners today. They can review your hiring policies and make any necessary recommendations to help protect your company.