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The Better Business Bureau’s
Hiring and Firing
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.
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.
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.
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
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
• 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
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
• Put up a sign on your building.
• Especially for professional and technical positions,
advertise on the Internet.
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
• Affiliations: Do not ask about clubs, social organizations, or
union membership; do ask about relevant professional
• 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
• Criminal Record: Do not ask if a candidate has been arrested;
you may ask if the candidate has ever been convicted of a
• 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
Interview Question Guidelines
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
•Sex: You may ask if a candidate has ever worked under another
At the opposite end of the spectrum:
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
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
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).
What Do You Do with Employees Files After They Leave
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
This presentation was brought to you by:
Better Business Bureau
5401 Vogel Road
Evansville, Indiana 47715
(812)473-0202 * (800)389-0979