Re: Hiring Discrimination

Subject: Re: Hiring Discrimination
From: "Bill Swallow" <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2006 13:28:22 -0400

While your reasoning is right on the money, specifically asking a
question about starting a family and its impact on productivity is a
question to avoid. It's not an illegal question to ask, but asking a
candidate any question with regard to pregnancy is a liability that
can result in court action. It's then up to the court to determine
liability. Regardless of how we may validate our questions, we as
interviewers need to remember that any question is subject to
interpretation and also subject to litigation. The further we stray
from the job in our questioning, the more liable we become.

Taboo topics:
* birthplace, nationality, ancestry, descent
* sex or marital status
* race or color
* religion
* physical disabilities or handicaps
* health or medical history
* pregnancy, birth control, or child care

We can ask questions that get to the heart of the matter, but we can't
ask within the above contexts without risking liability. For example,
you can say "can you lift up to 40 lbs" (and yes, this is a common job
requirement even in a tech industry) but you cannot frame it in
context of a handicap. Likewise, you can say "The job requires you to
be on-site for a standard 40 hour work week. Our official office hours
are from 8:30 to 5:30. Can you work the required hours" but you cannot
frame it in the context of a health or pregnancy inquiry.

College students are taught this. HR training enforces this.

On 10/2/06, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:

This question alone is unlikely to be sufficient grounds for
somebody to win a suit. However, if someone who was asked
this question were to claim discrimination after not getting
the job, it would be usable as part of the arguement that the
decision was based on improper criteria.

In an interview, you describe the specific requirements, such
as the work hours and the need for the prospective employee
to be willing and able to work overtime if required. It is then
acceptable to aske the candidate if he or she would be able to
meet the requirement. As an employer, you do not need to
know what the possible issues preventing a candidate from
being able to meet your requirements might be, but you can
ask the candidate to verify the ability to meet them.

Bill Swallow
HATT List Owner
WWP-Users List Owner
Senior Member STC, TechValley Chapter
avid homebrewer and proud beer snob
"I see your OOO message and raise you a clue."

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Re: Hiring Discrimination: From: Siliconwriter
Re: Hiring Discrimination: From: Bill Swallow
Re: Hiring Discrimination: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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