Find the right lawyer now

What is a Hiring Policy?

Find a Local Employment Lawyer near You

What is a Hiring Policy?

A hiring policy is a term used to describe the overall practices, decisions, and processes that a company uses when hiring employees. This will be different for each type of business. Hiring policies can also be subject to change within one business. For instance, the company might employ one set of hiring policies in the summer when their business is “booming”, and another set of hiring policies during winter months when the business is not as active. 

More importantly, a business needs to employ hiring policies that conform to local, state, and federal laws. For instance, the company cannot employ policies that utilize discrimination as a basis for making important hiring decisions. 

What Are an Applicant’s Legal Rights During the Hiring Process?

All job applicants have legal rights, even when they have not become actual employees. Under federal law, an employer cannot discriminate against a job applicant based on their gender, race, age, pregnancy, disability, and religion. In some states, employers cannot discriminate against potential employees based on their sexual orientation. Employers must follow these rules and regulation throughout the entire process. This means the employers cannot discriminate in the job ad, in the interview, and in the final selection of the employee.

Can Employers Take Into Account an Applicant’s Disability During the Hiring Process?

Although an employer cannot discriminate a job applicant based on their disability, an employer may take into account an employee’s disability during the hiring process if the applicant’s disability makes him or her unable to perform an essential job function required for the job. For example, an employer can refuse to hire someone if they are not able to lift things and heavy lifting is an essential job function.

What Laws Must Employers Follow During the Hiring Process?

There are a variety of federal and state laws that employers must follow during all phases of the hiring process. These phases include the job advertisement, interviewing, investigating, and final selection of employee. Employers must: 

  • Avoid any type of employment discrimination
  • Respect applicant’s privacy rights
  • Follow the laws when hiring underage or young workers
  • Follow the laws when hiring immigrants
  • Follow any employment contracts formed between employer and employee

What are Some Illegal Hiring Practices?

Some illegal hiring practices may include:

  • Not reporting hiring information to tax or business authorities.
  • Breaching previous employment contracts or hiring agreements with clients.
  • Using employment discrimination as a basis for sorting out hires.
  • Illegally obtaining hiring information from competitor companies.
  • Hiring illegal immigrants or undocumented workers.
  • Using illegal interview questions on candidates.

Can Employers Run a Background Check During the Hiring Process?

Employers may run background checks on potential employees during the hiring process. However, every state has different laws regarding how background checks are conducted. When doing background checks, all employers must be careful not to invade the applicant’s privacy. For example, some states do not allow employers to use arrest records when making employment decisions. Also, some states, such as California, do not allow employers to run background checks that go past 7 years. 

Are There Any Legal Consequences of Invalid Hiring Policies?

Failing to institute proper hiring policies can result in legal consequences, such as civil fines, or other business-related consequences. Also, persons who have been affected by illegal or invalid hiring practices may have legal remedies available for them, such as a damages award. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Hiring Policies?

Understanding the limits of hiring policies can often present various challenges. You may need to hire an employment lawyer if you have any questions or legal issues regarding hiring policies. Your attorney can provide you with legal representation in court, and can also assist you in reviewing any documents, statements, or other information that might be used in court as evidence. 

Photo of page author Ki Akhbari

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 05-06-2016 11:30 AM PDT

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.