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The FindLaw Guide To Hiring: Your Rights During the Application Process

The FindLaw Guide To Hiring: Your Rights During the Application Process

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Published by FindLaw
You have legal rights even before getting a job. Job applicants often have many of the same legal protections as employees. Here is some information you may want to know.
You have legal rights even before getting a job. Job applicants often have many of the same legal protections as employees. Here is some information you may want to know.

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Published by: FindLaw on May 21, 2012
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09/27/2012

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A Thomson Reuters Business
The FindLaw Guide to Hiring
 
The FindLaw Guide to Hiring: Your Rights During the Application Process
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 Te FindLaw Guideto Hiring: Your Rights Duringthe Application Process
Table of Contents
•
Introduction
•JobAdvertisements•InterviewQuestions•BackgroundChecks•Pre-EmploymentTests•ShouldITalktoanAttorney?
Introduction
Whatdoesthelawhavetodowithgettingajob?Probablymorethanyoumaythink.Jobapplicantshavelegalrightsevenbeforetheybecomeemployees.Yourfutureemployerissubjecttolegalrestrictionsthataectwhatthecompany’semploymentadvertisementcansay,whattheemployerisallowedtoaskduringtheinterview,andwhatkindofpre-employmenttestingcanberequired.
Job Advertisements
Employersareprohibitedfrombasinganyjobdecisionsincludinghiringonsomeonesprotectedcharacteristics.Sobeforeevenmeetingaprospectiveemployee,theemployermaybeillegallydiscriminatingagainstthejobapplicantifithasa jobadvertisementthatsuggestsapreferenceforaprotectedcharacteristiclikerace,sex,religion,nationalorigin,disability,orage.Forexample,jobadvertisementsthatusewordslikehiring“recentcollegegrads”maydiscriminateagainstolderworkers.Adsfor“salesman”couldsuggestthatonlymenapply.
Interview Questions
Fromanemployer’spointofview,theinterviewprocessisaboutassessinganapplicant’smatchtothepositionandtheworkculture.ehiringpartywantstoruletheapplicantasapropertasquicklyaspossible,andalmosteverythingisinplayfromattireandcomposure,toeducationandexperience.Whileemployershaveenormouslatitudeinthekindofquestionstheycanask,certainkindsofquestionsareillegal.Forexample,federallawmakesitillegalforemployerstobaseemploymentdecisionsonsomeone’sprotectedcharacteristics.Soaskingquestionsaboutmaritalstatus,planstohavechildren,drugandalcoholuse,andnationaloriginmayallbeillegal.Inaddition,somestatesandmunicipalitieshaveestablishedevenmoreprotections,makingitillegalincertainjurisdictionstoaskquestionsthatwouldrevealthingsliketheapplicantssexualorientation.Aninterviewbynaturediscriminatesagainstapplicants–goodapplicantsversusbadapplicants,qualiedapplicantsversusunqualiedapplicants,etc.Jobinterviewquestionsthattouchonthesetopicsareokay.Butwhenemployersstartaskingaboutpersonalinformationthathasnothingtodowiththe job,theymaybebreakingthelaw.
Background Checks
Employerswilloenconductbackgroundchecksonappli-cants.Inquiriesintobackgroundinformationthatisdirectlyrelevanttothejobmaybeallowedlikethedrivingrecordsforadeliverydriverposition.However,useofcertainrecordsmaybeprohibited;suchas:
You have legal rights even beore gettinga job. Job applicants oten have many othe same legal protections as employees.Here is some inormation you may wantto know.
Page 1 o 2
 
The FindLaw Guide to Hiring: Your Rights During the Application Process
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•CriminalRecords:isvarieswidelyfromstatetostate,oendependingonthetypeofworkinvolved.Somestatesallowaccesstocriminalrecordsonlywithanapplicant’sconsent,whileothersdonot.•EducationalRecords:Collegetranscriptsoenareconsideredrelevanttoajobapplicationandmaybeobtainedwithanapplicant’sconsent.•MilitaryRecords:Generally,consideredcondentialunderthefederalPrivacyAct.•Bankruptcy:Whilebankruptcylingsareamatterofpublicrecord,theyusuallymaynotbefactoredintoahiringdecision.•MedicalRecords:Whenrelevanttothejob,employersmayrequireaphysicalexamination.Otherwise,medicalrecordsarecondential.•Workers’Compensation:Amatterofpublicrecord,theserecordsonlymaybeusedifrelevanttothespecicdutiesofthejob.•CreditHistory.Somestatesspecicallyprohibittheuseofpre-employmentcreditchecksunlesstheemployercanproveitsrelevancetothejob,whileotherstateshavenosuchrestrictions.Employerscanlookintoyourbackground,butremember,therearelimitsintohowfartheycandig.
Pre-Employment Tests
Findingajobthesedaysdoesnotonlyrequirellingoutanapplicationandprovidingaresumeandcoverletter.Moreemployersareusingpre-employmentteststohelpdeterminewhichcandidateinapoolofapplicantsisbestqualiedtoperformaparticularjob’sduties.esetestsrangefrombasicdrugscreeningsandskillsteststomoreadvanced,andpoten-tiallyproblematic,testssuchaspsychologicalandpersonalitytests.Similartotheotherstepsinthehiringprocess,lawsprotectingprospectiveemployeesduringtestinglargelyrevolvearoundanti-discriminationlaws.
For More Information
Regardingthehiringprocessandotheremploymentrelatedissues,pleasevisitourwebsiteathttp://employment.ndlaw.com
Send Us Your Feedback
We’relistening!Sendusyourfeedbackhere.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain in this publication isnot, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consultan attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Disclaimer |Terms|Privacy 
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STOP
Should I Talk to an Attorney?
Ifyouseeanadforyourdreamjob,butareautomat-icallyruledoutduetoaprotectedcharacteristic,youmaywanttotalktoanattorney.Additionally,ifyouareaskedadiscriminatoryquestionduringtheinterview,haveanoverlyinvasivebackgroundcheck,orareaskedtoundergoapre-employmenttestthatdisfavorsyoubecauseofapersonaltrait,youmaywanttospeakwithanemploymentlawyer.Aneectiveemploymentlawyercanhelpeducateyouonyourrightsasanapplicantandhowtopursueyourclaimsagainstaprospectiveemployer.Youcanlocateanemploymentlawattorneynowbyvisitingwww.findlaw.comandchoosingamongseveralquality-assuredlawyersinyourarea.

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