Legal Issues in Hiring and Firing


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that the most frequently cited employment bias charges in 1994 were related to hiring and firing practices. Hiring and firing procedures should be carefully reviewed to assess the potential liability hidden within established practices.

Hiring

Many of the questions found on applications for employment have become sources of discrimination suits. A non-discriminatory job application should not contain questions about the following:

An interview can often be more litigiously threatening than the employment application, because uninformed interviewers often ask seemingly harmless questions that may, in fact, be discriminatory. An interviewer may casually ask a 32-year-old female applicant if she anticipates having a family. If she responds affirmatively and subsequently is not hired, she could file suit for discriminatory hiring practices. Experts say the general rule of thumb is: if a question does not have anything to do with the job, or is not vital to determining the applicant's ability to perform the responsibilities associated with the job, do not ask it.

Firing

Improperly handled employee terminations generate a significant number of lawsuits against corporations. Complete and accurate records of such actions protect the interests of both the employer and the former employee.

Firing generates stress for the employee being discharged, the individual who does the terminating, and the employees who remain with the company. Human error made before, during, and after the discharge is completed can significantly affect the attitudes and reactions of all involved as well as the vulnerability of the employer.

Before Firing an Employee

Handling a Termination

After Firing an Employee








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