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A Hiring Guide for the Small Business Employer

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By Minara El-Rahman on January 06, 2010 9:15 AM

With the economy suffering a recession, one of the bright spots for the small business employer is that when they are hiring a new employee, they can have their pick of the crop. There are more and more qualified candidates in the available labor pool. Here is a quick legal hiring guide for the small business employer to keep in mind while they are hiring fresh new faces for their small business.

Whittle Down Resume Stacks The Right Way

While the small business employer may be tempted to just arbitrarily throw out resumes, Business Week cautions that it may break the law. A small business employer can not discriminate against a protected class of applicants such as race, age or gender.

Don't Take Advantage of the Independent Contractor Status

While Business Week recommends that the small business employer may benefit from hiring independent contractors because they don't have to pay for heathcare benefits, there are some legal risks. If a small business employer mislabels an employee as an independent contractor, then it could cost that small business a lot in penalties. It may be useful to consult with an employment attorney in order to understand what you can and can not do with indepedent contractors in your small business.

Respect Applicant's Privacy Rights

Even if federal privacy rights in employment are limited, there are lots of states that provide workplace privacy rights. Don't ask any applicant about his or her sex life, beliefs about contraception and family planning, or opinions about same-sex relationships. Don't ask any applicant about personal finances, religious beliefs, or political affiliations.

Just remember that there are tactful and legal ways to ensure that you hire an applicant that is a good fit for your company. Make sure to check out our Related Resources for more information.

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