Hot Hiring Hint from
Mel Kleiman: Appearances Are Deceiving?
A client called last
week to say she heard at an HR meeting that there are people who actually pose
as applicants in order to determine whether a company’s hiring practices are
discriminatory. She wanted to know: "Is this really true and can my company be
held responsible even though the person was posing as an applicant?"
According to an EEOC 1996 rule, that was recently upheld in a federal appeals
court, companies can be sued if their hiring practices are found to be biased.
And, yes, these "pretend applicants" actually exist and are known as "testers."
They are used by various agencies and union organizations to determine whether
employers and landlords are in compliance with fair hiring and housing laws.
In one case, after appeals, it was found that the testers’ claims of
discrimination had no merit, but the practice continues. The only way to limit
your exposure is to implement standardized recruiting, interviewing, and hiring
procedures that enable hiring managers across your entire organization to make
objective hiring decisions that don’t violate the law.
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