3 Things You Cannot Do While Screening for Your Next Employee
Hiring can be something that is fraught with potential minefields. While you want to find the best employee, there are also things that you can do wrong that can get your company in trouble. Here are some practices to avoid when you are in the hiring process.
Create Implied Contracts
What you say during the hiring process can be used against you later on if you hire the employee. XpertHR Practical Compliance warns that if you make a promise, you may be held to it in the future if it is deemed to be an implied contract. Of course, not everything that you promise can be considered an implied promise, but you should be careful guaranteeing anything that is financial-related that is not part of the employment contract. This can mean anything from a promise of stock options and guaranteeing those stock will gain a certain amount in the future, a promise that they will have a job for life or a promise of significant pay increases during the time of employment. If a court finds that anything that you have said is an implied contract, you will end up owing the employee money if you are sued.
Ask About Criminal History
There are some jobs that require that an employer asks about criminal history but for other positions, this topic is off limits. Recent changes to existing laws have tightened up even further what can be asked about. V. James DeSimone Law explains that though an employer currently is prohibited from asking a job applicant about arrests that didn’t result in a conviction (with certain exceptions). Referrals to pre-trial or post-trial rehabilitation facilities or other diversion programs, or sealed, dismissed, expunged or statutorily eradicated convictions are also protected under the new law. It may be prudent to contact a lawyer or law office when you have questions about what can and cannot be asked about a potential employee past.
Ask About Status as a Protected Class
Civil rights laws give job applicants certain protections from discrimination. You need to be careful that the interview questions that you ask do not violate these laws. Zety warns that potential employers cannot ask about the employee’s age, race and marital status among other things. If these issues come up during the interview and the candidate does not get the job, you are at risk for a lawsuit or charges from a government agency. Also, avoid taking any notes that relate to these areas too even if you do not ask any questions. This area can expose you and your company to some risk so it is better to avoid these types of questions entirely if you cannot ask them in a permissible manner.
While hiring employees will help your business, make sure that you exercise the appropriate amount of caution in the process to protect your business.