Human Resources

Supervisor Policies and Procedures Manual

II. Hiring a new employee

A. Legal requirements

Federal and State laws forbid the discriminatory use of information when making hiring decisions.

To lessen the likelihood that discrimination might occur in hiring, it is important to eliminate inappropriate inquiries that elicit information about someone's protected class status.  There are three main types of inappropriate inquiries:

  • those asking for direct information about an individual's race, sex, age, etc;
  • those asking for information usually evaluated differently for men and women; and
  • those asking for information that could be used to screen out disproportionate numbers of a particular group protected by law.


Indicating to an applicant that the interview has not officially begun or is now officially over, and then asking questions in the above areas, such as during a luncheon or on the way from or to the airport, will also be suspect.

Some examples of areas of inquiry that may not be asked at any time in the process:


marital satus religion arrest records
name of partner/spouse race own/rent home
pregnant national origin car owned
do they have children citizenship name of bank
names/ages of children parent's birthplace type of military discharge
child care options age or birthdate nature of a disability
who resides in home gender height or weight

The Americans with Disabilities Act (refer to Section III, Employment Law in the Staff Policies and Procedures Manual) requires employers to consider for employment persons with disabilities who are able to perform, with or without accommodation, the essential functions of a position. 

A job function may be considered essential for many reasons, including but not limited to: 1) the reason the position exists is to perform that function; 2) the limited number of employees available to carry out that job function; and/or 3) the fact that the function is highly specialized, and therefore the person in the position is hired for his/her expertise or ability to perform the particular function.

An employer may ask applicants whether they can perform the essential functions of the position; whether accommodations would need to be made in order to perform the job; and what kind of accommodations might be helpful.

Charges of discrimination can be filed months and even years after a selection process is complete.  It is important to collect and retain a factual and objective record of the process, particularly during the interviews.

last revised: 2/17/2012

last reviewed: 2/17/2012

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