The Chicago Employment Law Blog

How to Avoid Illegal Hiring Practices and Chicago Discrimination

During George Bush’s administration, the EEOC seldom ever investigated discrimination claims and brought even fewer cases to court. Since 2008, under President’s Obama’s watchful eye, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been infused with new funds and new motivation to stop discrimination in employment. Now, employers should watch out, as the EEOC brought almost 100,000 charges last year.

One area the EEOC has focused on has been illegal hiring practices, reports the Business Management Daily. Hiring violations have been a source of litigation in many Chicago discrimination cases as employers can violate the law without discriminatory intent.

For example, an entrance exam that is race-neutral on its face, may be discriminatory if it negatively impacts minority workers. Similarly, knocking out applicants with criminal convictions or applicants with "too much experience" may also be illegal.

Most frequently, the EEOC has been targeting the use of criminal background and credit history checks to screen out applicants, reports Business Management Daily. Additionally, the EEOC has been targeting illegal Internet searches of applicants.

So how do you avoid illegal hiring practices? These three tips may help:

  • Use criminal and credit background history carefully. Only perform this check if convictions or credit histories are directly related to the job.
  • Perform Internet searches consistently. If you want to Google or Facebook prospective employees, do so for all applicants. Only searching female applicants, or applicants with African-American sounding names, is discriminatory.
  • Get your attorney's help. The hiring process can be complex and full of pitfalls for unsuspecting employers. Even if you do not have a discriminatory motive, your hiring policies may still violate equal employment laws.

The EEOC has stepped up its enforcement against illegal hiring practices. These three tips can help you avoid a Chicago discrimination lawsuit.

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