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Employment Law Basics For Recruiters


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Basic presentation on employment law for recruiters. Significant content in speaker notes only; many slides are all or mostly visuals. Contact me if interested in using.

Published in: Business, Career
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Employment Law Basics For Recruiters

  1. 1. Employment Law Basics for Recruiters © George L. Lenard, 2008
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Some Ground Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Discrimination Laws & How Recruiters Come Within Them </li></ul><ul><li>How Discrimination Claims Are Proven & Defended </li></ul><ul><li>How to Protect Yourself Against Claims </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity and Reverse Discrimination Issues </li></ul>
  3. 3. I. Ground Rules <ul><li>Photo: mwlguide </li></ul>
  4. 4. First, Understand The Employment Law Environment
  5. 5. Second, Understand the Psychosocial Environment
  6. 6. Harvard Implicit Association Test
  7. 7. Third, Know Enough Law to Know When to Call a Lawyer
  8. 8. Fourth, Be Aware of Worrisome Legal Trends <ul><li>Hiring litigation is up </li></ul><ul><li>So are race charges </li></ul><ul><li>Class actions are popular </li></ul><ul><li>Huge settlements are common </li></ul><ul><li>Lawyers make millions </li></ul><ul><li>EEOC watches recruiters </li></ul>
  9. 9. Fifth, Know That You Can Both Reduce Legal Risk and Hire the Best
  10. 10. Sixth, Remember That It Takes Just One Upset Candidate to Cause a Costly Legal Problem “ What do you mean I’m not qualified ?!!”
  11. 11. Finally, Be Aware Recruiter May Be Viewed as “Gatekeeper”
  12. 12. II. Discrimination Laws & How Recruiters Come Within Them
  13. 13. Federal & State Discrimination Laws <ul><li>Race </li></ul><ul><li>Color </li></ul><ul><li>Religion </li></ul><ul><li>Sex </li></ul><ul><li>Pregnancy </li></ul><ul><li>National Origin </li></ul><ul><li>Age (40 or older) </li></ul><ul><li>Disability </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual Orientation (not federal yet) </li></ul><ul><li>Retaliation </li></ul>
  14. 14. Other Laws To Be Aware Of <ul><li>Immigration </li></ul><ul><li>Independent contractor status </li></ul><ul><li>Fair Labor Standards Act (minimum wage and overtime) </li></ul>
  15. 16. Recruiting Companies Can Be Liable As “Employers” <ul><li>A recruiting company is an &quot;employer&quot; under Title VII if it has enough of own employees: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>15 or more employees. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent contractors don't count. But be very cautious about concluding recruiters are independent contractors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photo: laurenatclemson </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Recruiting Companies Can Be Liable As “Agents” of Employers <ul><li>Definition of &quot;employer&quot; includes &quot;any agent&quot; of an employer. </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, an agent is someone “authorized to act on behalf of and under the control of another in dealing with third parties.” </li></ul>
  17. 18. Employment Agency Actions Discrimination Laws Prohibit <ul><li>Discriminatory failure or refusal to refer for employment, or other discrimination against any individual because of a protected characteristic. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Employer Actions Discrimination Laws Prohibit <ul><li>Because of individual’s protected characteristic (race, color, religion, etc.): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Failing or refusing to hire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discharging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Otherwise discriminating in compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limiting, segregating, or classifying employees or applicants so as to deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect their status as an employee </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. Other Employer Actions Discrimination Laws Prohibit <ul><li>Harassment based on any protected characteristic. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to reasonably accommodate disability. </li></ul>
  20. 21. Recruiting Companies Can Also Be Liable As &quot;Employment Agencies&quot; <ul><li>Discrimination law defines “employment agency&quot; as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Any person regularly undertaking with or without compensation to procure employees for an employer.” </li></ul></ul>
  21. 23. Customer Preference Cannot Justify Discrimination
  22. 24. III. How Discrimination Claims Are Proven & Defended <ul><li>Two Main Approaches to Proving Discrimination: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disparate treatment is the most common way to prove individual claims of discrimination. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disparate impact often is used in the major class actions. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 25. Disparate Treatment Three Step Test <ul><li>1. Prima facie case of race discrimination in hiring requires proof the person belongs to racial minority, applied and was qualified for open position, and was rejected. </li></ul><ul><li>2. If prima facie case proven, court considers whether legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for rejection has been given. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Finally, court determines whether this was not the true reason, but was a pretext, or lie, to cover up discrimination. </li></ul>
  24. 26. Disparate Impact <ul><li>Need not be intent to discriminate. </li></ul><ul><li>If employment practice has disparate impact, burden is on employer to prove it is “job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.” </li></ul>
  25. 28. IV. How to Protect Yourself Against Claims Photo: James Gordon
  26. 29. Have & Document Good Reasons <ul><li>Keep records of all your work. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow accepted document retention policies. </li></ul><ul><li>Be in a position to explain why you did what you did, especially screening anyone out after you expressed some interest. </li></ul>
  27. 30. Work From Accurate Job Descriptions <ul><li>Should be sourcing, screening, and interviewing roadmap. </li></ul><ul><li>Can either help or hurt; make sure they help! </li></ul><ul><li>Physical requirements are important for disability claims. </li></ul>
  28. 31. Take Great Care In Composing Advertisements
  29. 32. Broaden Your Searches <ul><li>Viewing hiring process as a whole, the starting point – the “applicant pool” -- is very important. </li></ul><ul><li>The EEOC is suspicious of “word-of-mouth” or employee referral hiring. </li></ul>
  30. 33. Avoid Improper Interview Questions <ul><li>Not necessarily illegal to ask, but may be – and may be used as evidence of illegal intentions. </li></ul><ul><li>If irrelevant and tend to evoke facts that could be used to discriminate, why else would you ask? </li></ul><ul><li>If not asked of all applicants, but only women, for example, can show discrimination. </li></ul>
  31. 34. Learn the Rules About Disability-Related Inquiries <ul><li> </li></ul>
  32. 35. Assess Impact of Screening Criteria, Tests and Qualifications <ul><li>Be aware of diversity of your applicant flow – or lack of it. </li></ul><ul><li>If tests are used, they either must have no disparate impact or be professionally validated for the job. </li></ul>
  33. 36. Too Much Information Can Be Bad!
  34. 37. V. Diversity and Reverse Discrimination Issues
  35. 38. Reverse Discrimination <ul><li>Are only minorities protected by discrimination laws? </li></ul><ul><li>Can a white man claim race and/or sex discrimination? </li></ul>
  36. 39. Diversity Programs
  37. 41. George Lenard <ul><li>Harris Dowell Fisher & Harris </li></ul><ul><li>15400 South Outer Hwy. Forty, Suite 202 </li></ul><ul><li>Chesterfield (St. Louis), MO 63107 </li></ul><ul><li>636-532-0300 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>George’s Employment Blawg </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>