5 Legal Pitfalls to Avoid When Hiring New Employees

5 Legal Pitfalls to Avoid When Hiring New Employees

5 Legal Pitfalls to Avoid When Hiring New Employees

As a business owner, you know there is more to hiring an employee than posting a job description and interviewing candidates. There are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes, and it can be easy to accidentally get into legal trouble. Here are five pitfalls to avoid so you don’t end up with legal trouble on your hands.

Avoid Biased Language in Your Description

When creating a job posting, you need to accurately describe the position and requirements, but you need to be careful to use inclusive language. While you can require certain qualifications, you can’t discourage someone from applying based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. Avoid age or physical appearance descriptions and focus on attributes that anyone could possess.

Don’t Overstep Background Checks

Be careful about how far you go in a background check. You can access information that is directly related to the job, such as driving records for a driving position, and you can verify information that they volunteer, but you can’t go digging up every detail. It’s fairly easy to find a candidate’s social media. However, you can’t make a decision based on what you find there. Be sure that you are aware of your limits before you start digging to avoid problems later.

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Be Wary of Discrimination

Even if your job posting isn’t discriminatory, you need to ensure the rest of the hiring process is also fair and unbiased. Be careful, fair, and consistent when hiring new employees. You should require the same qualifications from each applicant. Avoid any questions that may lead to discrimination based on a protected class. Questions about things like age, marital status, or sexuality should never come up.

Be Compliant with Federal Law

In addition to avoiding discrimination, you must confirm that your employees are legally allowed to work in the United States. If they are an immigrant, you don’t need to know how long they have been here, just if they can legally work. Make sure that you verify I9 eligibility as soon as possible, to avoid employing someone you shouldn’t.

Use a Contract

When you make a decision and offer someone the job, make sure you put that job offer, any benefits, and any conditions and protections in writing. While spoken agreements can be legally binding, for maximum protection and to avoid future disputes, you need to make sure that you have everything in a legal contract. This protects all parties, and it also makes sure you don’t run into a nasty surprise down the road.

There are costs to hiring a new employee, so you want to avoid any legal mistakes when you do so. Take your time to make the best decision possible to ensure the process is a success.

Looking to start a business or grow your current business? Contact FL Patel Law today by visiting our website or calling 727-279-5037.

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