Monday, October 21, 2013

Subtle Signs An Employer Uses Discriminatory Hiring Practices

Spotting Employers With Discriminatory Hiring Practices

In 2013, you would think that workplace discrimination is a thing of the past. Some might even argue that it certainly is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, that simply is not the case, as evidenced by ongoing recent debates on the state of affirmative action. While discrimination may no longer be "in your face," it is definitely still out there in more subtle forms. So, how do you spot an employer that may have discriminatory hiring practices? Here are some ways to identify an employer that may be discriminating against certain groups.

Signs an Employer May Be Discriminating:
  • Only Advertising in Certain Languages or Cultural or Religous Specific Publications
  • Workplace Dress Codes That Exclude the Cultural or Religious Norms of Certain Groups
  • Higher Education Requirements Than Necessary For the Job
  • Requesting Proof of Reliable Transportation
  • Inquiries About the Applicant's Involvement in Organizations, Clubs, and Societies
  • Requesting a Photograph of the Applicant
  • Using Statements Such As "Recent College Graduates" or "Computer Savvy"
  • Requiring An Employee to Be Able to Lift a Certain Minimum Weight
  • Emphasizing That An Employee Must Be Able To Work Late
  • Stating That An Applicant Should Be "Career-Oriented" or "Family-Oriented"
  • Inquiries About Credit Rating or Economic Status
  • Height and/or Weight Requirements Unrelated to the Job 
While these are not definitive signs that an employer is trying to discriminate against certain groups, it is important to note that these activities can discourage certain applicants from applying for the job. When accompanied by additional evidence of discrimination, these activities could serve as the grounds for an actionable discrimination claim.

Erica N. Cordova is the Managing Attorney of HR Esquire - The Cordova Law Firm LLC. At HR Esquire, we believe in passing the savings along to our clients through our part-time law firm model. We strive to help small businesses develop a solid foundation and legal strategy so they can be successful. We will work to improve legal compliance and employee relations. Our goal is to improve your business' performance and provide legal advice for a successful human resources strategy via our Offsite General Counsel. Find out how we can help you and your business today! If you have questions about this article, please email

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