When you’re in the position of hiring new employees, it can allow you the freedom to add valuable assets to your team. However, hiring can bring on its own set of responsibilities. Ensuring that you abide by the following employment laws is imperative to your businesses future success.
Never Ask for an Employees’ National Origin
Many sections of employment law restrict employers from making hiring decisions based on a person’s identification attributes, such as their gender, national origin, race, and others. Do yourself a favor and never ask an employee what their national origin is during the interview process. If you are worried about their citizenship, you can ask if they are authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis. This way, you’re only asking the bare minimum to ensure they are legally able to work for your company.
Don’t Disregard Applicants with A Disability
Private businesses who have more than 15 employees are required to follow the ADA or Adults with Disabilities Act. This Act states that an applicant can’t be denied employment due to their disability. Most states have instituted laws that require businesses with fewer employees to follow the laws of this Act as well. To avoid getting into a legal battle with a disability discrimination attorney, you should do your best to reasonably accommodate any applicants who have disclosed a disability to you. The only way you can legally not accommodate the disabled applicant is if it would cause your business undue hardship. The law regarding undue hardship is in the grey area, so be sure to contact your own attorney before disregarding accommodation requests.
Be Cautious with Background Checks
Before you can run any sort of background check on a potential applicant, you have to gain their consent via a written form. Realize that most states prohibit a background check on employees unless it’s directly related to a specific job. For example, if an employee is working with the public in a security job, asking for a criminal background check consent is considered a reasonable request. Denying employment based on an applicant’s refusal for the criminal background check can turn into a sticky situation if the job’s tasks are clear cut in regards to why the criminal background check is necessary.
When it comes to hiring new employees for your business, it can be a fun experience. Finding the right people to join your team starts with providing a fair interview process for all applicants. Be sure that you follow the three steps listed out above during your hiring process so you can avoid any legal pitfalls.