Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Safe Hiring Tips from California Employment Lawyers

The recession is beginning to fade, and companies in California are slowly beginning to here again. However, these are still sensitive times, and employers would do well to take care before they hire someone, to ensure that they're not at risk of liability. Employers may place themselves at liability for workplace discrimination based on age, gender, marital status or region and several other factors if they are not careful. California employment discrimination attorneys have the following tips to hire employees safely:

During the interview, avoid asking questions about the applicant's, racial origin, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, or physical or mental disabilities.

When it comes to a job applicant's criminal history, employers often find themselves in a quandary. They need to know as much as possible as they can about the applicant's criminal record, but they cannot discriminate based on this. Typically, it's fair to ask about an applicant’s convictions for past crimes, but employers must avoid the subject of arrests. In fact, protections for employee privacy are so high that employers cannot even use information about sex crimes in the applicant's past to avoid hiring him.

That doesn't mean that employers have no powers while making a hiring decision. Employers in California may be free to turn down an application based on drug use in many situations. You may also disqualify an applicant based on his lack of educational qualifications, but only if this prevents him from performing the job that he's applying for.

Personal appearance and dress can be tricky. For example, employees in fashion apparel stores would be expected to follow certain guidelines for appearance, and this may not be considered discrimination. Again, these are very sensitive matters, and employers must take care not to offend sensibilities while insisting on certain kinds of dress or personal appearance.

It can be permissible to turn away applicants based on factors like age, but only if the job requires a younger person. For instance, turning down a senior citizen for a position that he could perform just as well as a younger person, could amount to discrimination.

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