Avoiding Legal Trouble When Hiring and Onboarding
The hiring process is a complex, multistep process. While many routine practices are being scrutinized, it is imperative that a firm maintains EPLI Insurance Program to protect against the potential litigation risk during the hiring and onboarding process.
While the standard inquiry of any criminal history has long been a part of a standard job application, a new movement, titled “ban the box” has made waves via the Equal Employment Opportunity agency. This law precludes employers from asking an applicant whether he or she has been convicted of a crime and has been implemented in numerous states and cities, according to Inside Counsel. By removing this portion of the application, companies can avoid potential litigation.
In relation to screening candidates, gaps in employment should be discussed with the applicant. As these are generally viewed as red flags, employers are still prohibited by law from declining offering a position for this reason.
When interviewing applicants, only job-function related question should be asked. Information regarding age, race, disability, marital status, religion, gender, etc. are protected and should never be pried. Questions relative to this information, or discrimination that could be construed based on the questions, should be considered for legal concerns. However, employers are permitted to ask questions that relate to the ability to perform the job, such as ability to lift and carry a certain amount of pounds.
Lastly, the legal implications of background checks should be recognized. As this is a critical component in maintaining fair hiring practices, it is important to note that a written consent from the candidate is required when an employer uses a third party to conduct the background investigation.
Upon offering a job to a candidate, an offer letter must clearly state the job functions, compensation, and an “at will” employment disclaimer.
These simple practices can help to ensure a fair hiring process and minimize litigation against the employer. In addition to bringing you the latest news from the insurance industry, PL Risk provides Resources for Agents and Brokers nationwide. We’ve recently implemented Hiscox Now, which allows agents their own access to Hiscox and instant quoting. To learn more about our operations, contact us today at (855) 403-5982.