Overview: In this high-tech age, employers have more resources available than ever before to find job candidates. Online postings, state labor websites, LinkedIn and other forms of social media have taken their place alongside traditional press advertising, employment agencies and employee referrals as effective recruiting methods.
Referrals empower current employees by giving them the opportunity to assist in the hiring process. Employers should be cautious not to rely exclusively on referrals, however, as doing so may create discrimination risks under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act if it means a diverse range of candidates is not considered.
In addition, HR should use gender-neutral and age-neutral terms when posting job advertisements as part of HR's recruiting process to avoid unnecessarily limiting the potential range of applicants.
This holds true with the use of social media as well. While providing new avenues for recruitment, these sites also can provide new discrimination traps for unwary employers that access information about protected characteristics.
Trends: California, Illinois, Maryland and Michigan are among the many states that have passed laws prohibiting employers from asking job applicants for their social media passwords. Federal legislation has been proposed to ban this practice, and other states are looking into similar measures.
Author: David B. Weisenfeld, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to reflect forthcoming state 'ban the box' and salary history inquiry laws.
Updated to reflect salary history restrictions, effective October 6, 2017.
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law two measures that restrict employers from asking job applicants about their salary and criminal history. Both laws are effective January 1, 2018.
Updated to reflect law banning discrimination in hiring based on veteran status, effective October 1, 2017.
Bass Pro Outdoor World will pay $10.5 million to settle a case brought by the EEOC that accused the company of engaging in a pattern and practice of hiring discrimination and retaliation. The agreement will compensate eligible African-American and Hispanic job candidates who were passed over for jobs.
Updated to reflect that certain private school employees are subject to mandatory background checks, effective July 1, 2017.
A new San Francisco ordinance will prohibit employers, including city contractors and subcontractors, from asking any questions about a job applicant's current or past salary.
Guidance on legal considerations in HR’s recruitment process. Support and advice on finding capable, qualified candidates in a legal manner.