When you hire employees, you need to know the rules on job descriptions, interviews, background checks and more. Find out how to gather the information you need and choose the right employee -- without violating the law.
Questions What is a job description? Can I check an applicant's credit report? When I hire someone, do I have to use a written employment contract? Do any special rules apply if I'm hiring a teenager? Can I take an applicant's disability into account when I'm hiring? Can I ask where an applicant was
Of all the anti-discrimination laws, none is more confusing to employers more than the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), especially when it comes to hiring. Employers want to make sure that the person they hire can actually perform the job, but often don't know how to explore this issue without
Your employee's first day on the job can be an exciting time for both of you. If you've never had an employee before, this is a milestone in your business career. You'll now be responsible for supervising another person and meeting a payroll. Your employee, too, is embarking on a new venture and may feel nervous and excited. Make the day go smoothly by making your employee feel welcome, as well as completing required paperwork.
Employment contracts are not necessary -- or even desirable -- for every employee or every employment situation. Employment contracts can be useful when you want control over the employee's ability to leave your business or when the employee will be learning confidential information about your business. However, employment contracts limit your ability to alter the terms of employment. If you don't meet your obligations to the employee under the contract, you could face a lawsuit.
I run a small business, and am interested in hiring a salesperson. However, I'm finding it hard to get any real information from applicants' former employers -- all they seem to be willing to tell me is the applicant's title and dates of employment. How can I get more information out of these people?
If you check credit reports when you hire employees, you must follow the legal rules set out in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA requires you to: get the applicant's consent before you pull the reportgive the applicant a warning (along with a copy of the report you received) if you plan to reject him or her on the basis of the report, andgive the applicant an official "adverse action" notice if you do not hire him or her because of the contents of the report. This article explains each of these requirements. But, before you check any applicant's credit, you need to make sure that your state allows you to do so.
Writing job descriptions is one of those tasks managers tend to handle half-heartedly. In the crush of day-to-day deadlines and emergencies, it can be hard to find the time for what might appear to be an exercise in paperwork. But carefully drafted job descriptions aren't just pieces of paper: They are the cornerstone to hiring effectively, communicating expectations, evaluating performance, terminating employees who can't meet your job requirements, and much more -- all while keeping you and your company out of legal trouble.
The spontaneous and unpredictable nature of the job interview can create hidden traps for the unwary employer. Things that you say with innocent intent can be misconstrued as prejudicial -- or used later as fodder for a lawsuit. For example, a casual discussion about a female applicant's upcoming marriage could lead you to ask whether she plans to have children -- which could lead the applicant to believe that you discriminated against her if she doesn't get the job.