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
New York and New Jersey have joined the trend of states banning private employers from asking job applicants about their salary history with new laws effective this month.
Updated to reflect addition of salary history law guidance.
Numerous legislative changes take effect on or about January 1, affecting minimum wage rates, employee leaves, health care benefits and more. HR should take note of these legal developments and take appropriate steps to comply.
Updated to reflect New York law regarding salary history inquiries and removal of Westchester County law regarding salary history inquiries, effective January 6, 2020.
Updated to reflect protections regarding salary history inquiries and removal of Westchester County salary history inquiry law, effective January 6, 2020.
Updated to reflect amendment to law regarding expungement of criminal records, effective December 27, 2019.
Updated to reflect protections regarding salary history inquiries, effective January 1, 2020.
Updated to reflect law regarding requests for applicant Social Security Numbers, effective January 1, 2020.
Guidance on legal considerations in HR’s recruitment process. Support and advice on finding capable, qualified candidates in a legal manner.