Discriminatory recruitment efforts

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
When companies recruit employees, whether through employment agencies, newspaper ads, or by word-of mouth, their recruitment efforts must avoid discriminating against or excluding certain groups of candidates from applying or being considered for employment. Unless it's legitimately necessary for business purposes, recruiting on the basis of any biased criteria such as race, gender, or disability is considered illegal under federal and state laws and can result in a discrimination claim. For example, if a company has a significant Hispanic employee population and it relies heavily on employee referrals or it only advertises job postings in Hispanic neighborhoods, a court may deem the company's recruitment efforts to be discriminatory against non-Hispanic applicants who may not have the same opportunity as their Hispanic counterparts to learn about the job openings and apply. Other examples of discriminatory recruitment techniques include holding job fairs in areas with a certain racial or class population or exclusively advertising in publications that only cater to a particular group of people, such as magazines written in Chinese or Spanish. Employers can generally avoid discrimination liability by always varying their recruitment efforts and ensuring that the language used in ads is job-related and doesn't express preferences for candidates of a certain religion, sex, national origin, age, or other irrelevant qualification.
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