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Employment Law Concerns in Job Postings

Published:  February 10, 2017

Employers today primarily use the internet to communicate openings for positions within their company.  The job postings can be on the company website, online job boards, or social media.  Regardless of the method employers use for advertising, they should take into account whether the chosen advertising method discourages minority applicants or other classes of protected individuals from applying.  If the method has a disparate impact on a particular protected class, the employer could be exposed to legal liability.

According to the Prohibited Employment Policies/Practices contained on the EEOC’s website, it is illegal for an employer to publish a job advertisement that shows a preference for, or discourages someone from applying for a job because of his or her race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information.  For example, a help-wanted ad that seeks “females” or “recent college graduates” may discourage men and people over the age of 40 from applying, and may violate the law.

Employers will therefore want to avoid using gender-specific job titles in job postings and job descriptions.  Employers will also want to avoid using phrases such as “must be currently employed”, “no criminal record”, or “must live within city limits”, which the EEOC might deem to have a direct or indirect impact on minorities in their job postings.

The hiring process is replete with employment law concerns.  Job postings, interviews, background checks, and the making of job offers must meet various state and federal law requirements.  Employers need to be sure they are not inadvertently asking the wrong questions or seeking unlawful information during the hiring process.

If you have any questions regarding the hiring process, or any other aspect of employment law, please contact the attorneys at Royal, P.C.