Free Enterprise - The FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

Top 5 Considerations When Hiring Employees

If your company is looking to hire new employees, there are some things you should keep in mind as you kick-off the hiring process.  There is no single law that companies are directed to follow, instead, small businesses are responsible for being familiar with applicable state and federal laws that govern employment procedures. 

Top 5 Considerations for Employee Hiring Process:

1. Avoid Illegal Discrimination.  If your company employs four or more workers, it is key to be aware of and abide by all anti-discrimination measures put in place to protect applicants.  In general, federal law prohibits discriminating on the basis of race, gender, pregnancy, national origin, religion, disability, and age.  There are a number of state and local provisions that may also be put in place to protect against discrimination.  These may include avoiding discrimination on the basis of marriage, sexual orientation, and weight.

2. Respect Applicant's Privacy Rights.  Steer away from asking applicants questions that would compromise their rights to privacy.  This includes asking whether they are married or how many children they have or what race they are. 

3. Avoid Making Promises You Can't Keep.  If you are early in the interview process you may not know exactly what kind of package or compensation your company will be able to offer a particular candidate.  The candidate's experience and potential may ultimately decide the final facts and figures.  So, avoid making overarching promises to candidates before you are certain of what the company can offer and before you have a final short list of applicants.

4. Follow Legal Rules for Hiring Immigrants.  Companies can hire workers that are citizens or U.S. nationals.  Though applicants do not need to fill out an I-9 form, once you make your employment decision, the new hire will have to complete the federal form.   An employer should examine identification documents presented by the employee, but cannot usually be charged with a verification violation, if the employer did not knowingly employ an individual who is not authorized to work in the U.S.

5. Follow Legal Rules for Hiring Young Workers.  If hiring staff younger than 18 be aware that your company will have to abide by child labor laws, which generally restrict the number hours and type of work that the employee can do. You can cross reference the applicable federal law, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), with local state child labor laws.

 

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