Are there any special risks for an employer to take into account regarding online job applications?

Author: Melanie J. Perez-Vellios, VP Group LLC

In some instances, online job applications can violate antidiscrimination laws. Exclusive use of electronic job applications can exclude certain segments of the population from applying because some groups, such as older individuals or certain ethnic groups, may have less computer access than other potential job candidates. As a result, employers using online job applications should also make hard copy applications available to applicants.

Furthermore, federal law requires employers to reasonably accommodate job applicants in the application process. As a result, employers using online job applications should make applicants aware of the specific procedure for requesting accommodations necessary to engage in the application process.

Finally, job applications often elicit private and personal information from applicants. Employers using online job applications must ensure that measures are taken to maintain the confidentiality of such information.