Although federal laws and regulations cover most of the everyday employment issues you face, states still retain the right to create their own laws. And that’s where you need to be careful.
If your business hires commercial drivers you understand the federal laws that require you to investigate and monitor the driving activities of your employees. These drivers must meet a number of federal standards, as well as those established by your insurance carriers. But what about those employees who don’t drive 18-wheelers, but instead are behind the wheel of a company or personal vehicle?
TV shows like The Blacklist and NCIS are entertaining and fun, but it’s clearly all stylized fiction, no matter how convincing it may look.
Odds are good that more than half of the resumes and job applications you review contain any number of misrepresentations, falsehoods, lies…whatever you want to call them.
By performing a fast and easy address search – which reviews tons of public record sources all over the U.S. –you can learn the addresses your applicants have used for the last one to 25 years, when a Social Security number was entered as part of the identifying information. This could be when they secured a loan, rented an apartment, co-signed a financial document, enrolled in school, etc.
Every year businesses deal with damaging and costly legal battles because a single question on a job application violated federal law. So, it is important that you check your job applications (paper and online) regularly to ensure they comply with federal and state laws.
You likely already know that your job application cannot ask contain questions about a person’s religion, race, sexual orientation, family, and other personal concerns. But here are a few other items you may not be aware of that you must avoid on an application and during interviews:
Many employers hire extra workers to prepare for a busy holiday season. Often these workers are hired on some level shortly after Labor Day to ensure they are trained properly, as they help the employer get ready for increased activity.
Remember that even your temporary help should be screened just like they were permanent, full-time employees. After all, a person working just a few hours a week can be responsible for many problems, such as theft, drug sales, and harassment.
Only a minor percentage of your job applicants will have a serious criminal record or a problem with a driver’s license. More issues are found when employment and education are confirmed.
For instance, an applicant can indicate his/her work responsibilities and time period of employment are X, but it is learned they are really Y. Also, applicants often misrepresent their educational experience and accomplishments. Unfortunately, it is all too common.
Of all levels of background screening services, a majority of businesses will request criminal records most often. And all types of criminal histories are revealed as a result. Some reflect minor issues, while others are extremely serious. The business must then determine how the criminal record will impact their hiring decision.
You cannot ask any medically-related questions on a job application or during a pre-job offer interview. You can only inquire about medical, worker’s comp, and drug testing issues AFTER a job offer is made; this is normally a conditional job offer.
Once the employee is on board, medical and drug questions and tests can be addressed. Be sure to keep that information in a separate file – in a separate location – apart from the general personnel file. Check with your legal counsel to ensure compliance on this and other issues.
We have one big country, but there are 50 states, over 3000 counties/parishes, and thousands and thousands of cities and towns. They all have their own laws and regulations on a variety of things, including the use of criminal records when making hiring decisions.