First 5 Things to Know About Hiring Compliance

The world of employment laws and compliance can be daunting, especially when you’re hiring for the first time or don’t have a professional HR team to back you up. As part of our vision to empower everyone to be Hiring Experts, we created this short video to introduce you to 5 key pieces of hiring compliance you should know:

Video Transcript: 

I’m Natalie Morgan, CareerPlug’s Director of HR. I’m going to share with you the first 5 things to know about running a compliant hiring process. 

Remember, CareerPlug isn’t a legal counsel. You should always seek the advice of an employment attorney or consult your HR team to ensure your hiring practices are compliant. This video is intended only as a guide and starting point. 

1. Key Laws

There are a few key U.S. federal laws to be aware of when you hire and manage people. Here’s the short rundown. Remember, this is not a comprehensive list. State and local laws may additionally apply. 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

This law makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963

This law makes it illegal to pay different wages to men and women if they perform equal work in the same workplace.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

This law protects people who are 40 or older from discrimination because of age.

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability in the private sector and in state and local governments.

2. Compliant Job Postings 

There is no specific law that obligates private employers to post jobs in a particular way; however, employers have a responsibility to conduct an open and fair hiring process. Here are a few equal opportunity employment guidelines to practice: 

  • Job posting system should result in a wide range of applicants 
  • Avoid gender-specific job titles. For example use “server” instead of “waitress”
  • Avoid anything the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) will see as having a direct impact on minorities such as “must live within city limits”, “must be currently employed”, “no criminal record”, and “recent graduate”

3. What NOT to ask during the hiring process

  • Whether they have children or intend to have children
  • Marital status 
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual preference
  • Age (other than inquiring whether over the age of 18)
  • Disability status
  • Citizenship status
  • Questions concerning drug or alcohol use

4. Compliant Reference Checks 

Employers should first be sure they have applicants’ consent before checking references.
Employers CAN ask:

  • The duties and responsibilities of the job 
  • The organization’s mission, programs, and achievements 
  • Career possibilities and opportunities for growth
  • Where the job is located, travel, mobility, equipment, and facilities available
  • The individual’s qualifications, abilities, experience, education, and interests 
  • What the person has done in previous job experience that makes them able to perform the job which they have applied 
  • What job related educational experience the applicant has that makes the individual able to do the job
  • What problems the applicant had on previous jobs, what they liked or disliked

The same questions that you cannot ask a candidate (i.e. about marital status, religion, etc) should not be asked to a reference. 

5. Negligent Hiring 

Employers have a duty to use reasonable care when hiring employees to ensure that they do not hire individuals who may pose a threat of injury to fellow employees, members of the public, or the workplace in general. In many cases, negligent hiring claims stem from acts of violence and sexual assault against co-workers.

To help avoid negligent hiring claims, employers should:

  • Verify an applicant’s work history.
  • Attempt to obtain reference information from former employers.
  • Increase the scope of the pre-employment investigation when hiring for positions where there is greater risk of harm to the public or to fellow employees.
  • Consider criminal record checks in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws.

Remember, CareerPlug cannot offer legal counsel. To ensure you’re operating in compliance with all federal regulations, we recommend you consult your employment attorney. 

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