Hiring and Firing


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This is a guide for businesses on common sense hiring and firing practices, presented by the Better Business Bureau.

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  • She hasn’t thought of a clear title or job description, she just knows they need an extra pair of hands in the office. She sets up a whole day of interviews.
  • Marci commented on the photo of Kim’s family hanging on the wall and mentioned that she had recently gotten married.
  • Ultimately, Kim chooses another candidate.
    While later analyzing the interview, Marci comes to the conclusion that the only possible reason that she didn’t get the job is that Kim was worried about potential maternity leave. She never considers the possibility of a better qualified candidate.
  • Kim made several errors in hiring a new employee. Use the following tips to avoid a similar situation in your business.
  • Before you can find the right person, you have to know who you are looking for.
  • Consider offering, like many other companies do, a referral bonus. Be creative.
  • Common sense is not longer enough to keep hiring legal. All hiring managers need to have a basic understanding of the legalities of hiring. The legal issues are probably not as straightforward as you may think.
  • The proper handling of the termination of an employee can be just as important as the hiring of a new employee.
  • Terminations are a fact of life for managers. But it is a big decision which should not be taken lightly.
  • If you follow the eight recommended steps, you can reduce stress and the chances of ending up in court.
    You don't necessarily have to treat every employee exactly the same, but you should treat "similarly situated" employees (those with similar jobs, performance histories, and length of employment) as consistently as possible or have business-related reasons for your inconsistencies.
    Before you terminate, make sure you have conducted a fair and complete investigation, particularly in cases of misconduct.
    the risk that the termination will cause legal claims. For example, consider the potential for claims of discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliation, violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act, failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or wage and hour violations. If you are concerned the employee may file a claim, consult legal counsel.
  • And always remember that you should never speak ill of recently departed employees. Try to keep up the morale of the rest of the staff.
  • Hiring and Firing

    1. 1. The Better Business Bureau’s Guide to Hiring and Firing Wisely
    2. 2. Kim is the manager of a small business and needs to hire another full time staff member. The classified ad that she ran in the local paper was very vague.
    3. 3. Kim’s third interview of the day was with a very nice young woman named Marci. During the course of exchanging pleasantries, Kim asks about her family and Marci mentions that she is looking forward to having children.
    4. 4. Kim is concerned that Marci may be planning to start and family immediately and therefore would not be in the office for very long. Marci files a lawsuit alleging discrimination.
    5. 5. It can happen to you too. Employee Claims Are On The Rise •Largest category of Federal Civil Lawsuits •25,000 new job discrimination Federal Court lawsuits each year · More than Doubled in Five Years · Averaging 20% per year increase Verdicts and Settlements – Cause for Alarm 1. Average Awards for Litigated Employment Cases a. Age Discrimination $219,000.00 b. Race Discrimination $147, 799.00 c. Sex Discrimination $106,728.00 d. Disability Discrimination $100,345.00
    6. 6. Before you even place the first "Help Wanted" ad for a vacant position, you should do the following: • Re-evaluate the mix of responsibilities assigned to the position. • Consider if the current people are assigned to the most appropriate positions. • Prioritize the "must have" qualifications for the job; the important qualifications; and the helpful, but less important, qualifications.
    7. 7. Don't Just Run A "Help Wanted" Ad Where should you advertise to attract new help? "Help Wanted" ads and employment agencies, both of which can be expensive, are obvious places to start. Here's a few other suggestions: • Encourage current employees to mention the opening to friends. • Put up a sign on your building. • Especially for professional and technical positions, advertise on the Internet.
    8. 8. Keep Hiring Legal The most legally sensitive time is during the interview process. Following are some of the key areas that are covered by fair hiring laws. You will see a trend in what is legal and what is illegal— essentially, you cannot ask questions that will reveal information that can lead to bias in hiring, but you can ask questions that relate to job performance. ?
    9. 9. • Affiliations: Do not ask about clubs, social organizations, or union membership; do ask about relevant professional associations. • Age: Do not ask a candidate's age other than, "if hired," can a candidate produce proof that he or she is 18 years of age. • Alcohol or Drug Use: The only allowable question relating to current or past drug or alcohol use is, "Do you currently use illegal drugs?" • Criminal Record: Do not ask if a candidate has been arrested; you may ask if the candidate has ever been convicted of a crime. • Culture/Natural Origin: You may ask if the individual can, "upon hire," provide proof of legal right to work in the United States. You may ask about language fluency if it is relevant to job performance. Interview Question Guidelines
    10. 10. Interview Questions (Continued) •Disability: You may ask if candidates can perform essential job functions, with or without reasonable accommodation; and you may ask them to demonstrate how they would perform a job- related function. You may ask about prior attendance records. •Marital/Family Status: Questions about marital status and family issues are discouraged except as they relate to job performance, as in the child care example above. •Personal: Avoid questions related to appearance, home ownership, and personal financial situation. •Race/Color: No race-related questions are legal. •Religion: If Saturday or Sunday is a required work day, you may ask candidates if they will have a problem working on those days. •Sex: You may ask if a candidate has ever worked under another name.
    11. 11. Legally Terminating An individual’s employment At the opposite end of the spectrum:
    12. 12. Two Goals of Termination Any time you have to deliver the termination decision, you should have two goals in mind: (1)   the sending of as positive a message as possible to the employee being terminated, as well as to the rest of the workforce; and (2) the protection of the organization from litigation.
    13. 13. The Eight Essentials 1. Follow your policies. 2. Be consistent. 3. Investigate fairly and thoroughly. 4. Consider the legal risks. 5. Document the reasons for termination. 6. Tell the truth. 7. Limit discussions about the termination.
    14. 14. And finally… 8. Plan the termination meeting. (1) Pick a good time for the termination conference (2) Select a suitable location to preserve the employee's dignity and privacy (3) Choose the appropriate attendees for the conference. (4) Prepare all necessary or final paperwork (such as COBRA notice and final pay).
    15. 15. What Do You Do with Employees Files After They Leave Your Company? To comply with IRS regulations, you must hang on to employee files for seven years after an employee leaves your company. To defend your company against possible lawsuits concerning breach of employment, failure to pay overtime, employment discrimination, sexual harassment and any other type of employment issue, you should keep employee files for four years — the statute of limitations for such claims.
    16. 16. This presentation was brought to you by: The Tri-state Better Business Bureau www.evansville.bbb.org 5401 Vogel Road Evansville, Indiana 47715 (812)473-0202 * (800)389-0979