All posts tagged EEOC

Employment Anti-Discrimination Laws Part 2

Published September 16, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

Part One of this series offered a brief overview of the systems that hiring managers implement to recruit potential top level performers. Part Two provides samples of the components that hiring managers utilize in the hiring process. The following fictitious samples were developed for the purpose of this research and are based on my previous employment experiences in the music industry.


Job Description and Advertisement

Basic Information

Job Title: Administrative Assistant for the West Coast Vice President of Promotion

Job Purpose: The individual will provide administrative services for office systems in accordance with procedures, policies and engage in duties required of that department to the best of their ability, within the ethical framework established as outlined in the corporate employment handbook.

Job Overview: The individual hired for this position is required to perform the duties of the Administrative Assistant to the West Coast Vice President of Promotion that includes active participation and working in partnership with the supervisor and other staff members to build and maintain an ethical climate. The position also offers opportunities for career advancement.

Administrative Assistant Duties:

  • Maintains workflow implemented by systems established, studying models, incorporating cost reductions, reporting procedures and developing new ones.
  • Maintains, creates, and revises systems and procedures by examining operation practices, including data and record keeping systems, forms control, office layout, budgetary and personnel requirements and implementing changes.
  • Supports and develops administrative staff by providing information, educational opportunities and experiential growth opportunities.
  • Resolves administrative problems by coordinating preparation of documents, including reports, spreadsheets, analyzing data and implementing solutions
  • Maintains and ensures operation of equipment including preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs; maintaining equipment inventories; and evaluating new equipment, techniques, and technologies.
  • Provides information, as well as answers inquiries and requests.
  • Maintains supply inventories by checking stock to determine inventory level, anticipating need supplies, placing and expediting orders for supplies, and verifying receipt of supplies.
  • Completes operational requirements including scheduling and assigning administrative projects, as well as expediting work results.
  • Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications, establishing personal networks, participating in professional societies.
  • Contributes to team effort by accomplishing results as required.

Job Advertisement for Social Media Outlets

Simulation - This is not a real advertisement

Simulation – This is not a real advertisement

Requirements, Knowledge, Skills, and Aptitudes

Bachelor Degree, Minimum Five Years’ Experience, Reporting skills, Administrative Writing Skills, Computer Technology Skills, Microsoft Office Skills, Managing Processes, Organization, Analyzing information, Professionalism, Problem Solving, Supply Management, Inventory Control, Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Skills.


Legal and Illegal Questions to Ask Potential Hires

Employers are vulnerable to litigation in the pre-employment process if they are not cognizant of employment and discrimination laws.  The most effective hiring managers implement supportive strategies and programs that avoid discrimination to attract top performers.  Seaquist (2012) postulates that company leaders should educate employees and hiring managers when designing the interview process to make sure they do not over step any boundaries.  This means avoiding any questions that would be in violation of Title VII mandates, including: (a) race, (b) sex, (c) national origin, (d) disabilities, and (e) criminal background (Seaquist, 2012).  Information can be obtained with respect to the aforementioned topics as long as they fall within the legal parameters of both Title VII and state regulations.  For example, an interviewer may include a list of different races on the application that the candidate can select, without having to go into further detail about their culture or personal beliefs.


Using this framework as a model, the questions listed below proposed by McKee (2012) will help outline more clearly, inquiries that are considered in compliance with employment laws, as well as those that are not.  Most experts agree that the best strategy is to pose questions that inspire and motivate the individual to speak candidly without adding stress or pressuring them into answering questions the way they believe the interviewer expects.  These questions are formulated to engage the individual in feeling comfortable sharing their experiences and can help alleviate trepidation (McKee, 2012).  The following twenty questions illustrate only a few samples of many that can be considered appropriate and inappropriate during the interview process:

Questions Deemed Legal by the EEOC

1.)   Explain to me why you may be qualified for this job?

2.)   Are you willing to relocate?

3.)   Can you describe a time when your work was criticized? How were you able to manage the situation?

4.)   Can you describe a time when your workload was heavy?

5.)   If you were hired, what will we know about you one year down the road?

6.)   How do you rate yourself as a professional?

7.)   How do you evaluate success?

8.)   How do you handle stress and pressure on the job?

9.)   How does this position fit in with the career path you envision?

10.)  Can you tell us about a failed project?

Questions Deemed Illegal by the EEOC

1.)   How many times have you been married?

2.)   What kind of relationship do you have with your family?

3.)   Have you ever had sex at work?

4.)   Do you steal or shoplift?

5.)   Do you struggle with weight or feel ugly?

6.)   Have you ever been caught cheating on your spouse?

7.)   What have you done with your life so far?

8.)   What are your religious beliefs?

9.)   What is your sexual preference?

10.)   Do you text and drive?


Employers that are not fully aware of employment and anti-discrimination laws will not be effective in the hiring process.  Rassas (2011) reminds us that it is important for business leaders to have a firm grasp of employment laws and to recognize the limitations (Rassas, 2011). Because no single set of employment laws cover all employers or their employees, business leaders that understand the intricate complexities of employment and discrimination laws will have an edge on their competition. In addition, to discover that silver bullet employee, leaders create effective strategies to recruit top level performers and design job descriptions that inspire and motivate candidates.  They design and implement programs that target quality potentials and refrain from using those that focus on attracting quantity.  The findings of this research conclude that even though violating employment laws can lead to litigation, hiring managers interested in recruiting top level performers must be aware and educated in employment and anti-discrimination laws to prevent legal action and costly fines.


Adler, L. (2013). The essential guide for hiring and getting hired. Atlanta, GA: Workbench Media.

McKee, P. (2012). How to answer interview questions. Atlanta, GA: Career Confidential.

Rassas, L. (2011). Employment law: a guide to hiring, managing, and firing employers and employees. New York, NY: Aspen Publishers.

Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Employment Anti-Discrimination Laws – Part 1

Published September 13, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair


One of the most significant tasks business leaders face is attracting and recruiting employees that are top level performers.  In fact Adler’s (2013) research revealed that few hiring managers even consider implementing effective strategies. Furthermore, they do not work in partnership with potential hires, nor do they consider enlisting the help of coaches to attract top performers. For example, most companies still post bland, uninteresting job descriptions, crossing their fingers in hope that they will find the ideal individual who is an organizational fit. In addition, the most shocking aspect of this is that most business leaders focus their resources and efforts going after the 17% of candidates who are actively seeking employment, yet desire to employ the 83% who are not looking for work (Adler, 2013). This research is focused on systems that hiring managers can implement to recruit potential top level performers while avoiding the violation of any employment or anti-discrimination laws.


To examine the process more effectively, a false scenario is examined that provides an example of skills and hiring techniques that may be useful in recruiting a new full-time departmental employee. For the purpose of this study, the focus is centered on filling an opening position for an administrative assistant. The case study includes a detailed description of the position that is in compliance with federal laws. In addition, to attract top performers, an advertisement has been included that is intended to be directed at social media outlets and job recruiting websites. Also included in the research, to support the analysis, is a series of legal and illegal questions that provide a few samples to illustrate topics hiring managers are permitted to inquiry about and the manner in which to draw out information that is in accordance with EEOC mandates, as well as those that are in violation of them. This research will conclude that hiring managers who are not trained or are unfamiliar with employment and anti-discrimination laws can make poor decisions in the hiring process, risking litigation and exuberant fines.


The Hiring Process

Employers want to hire top performers, but most are not cognizant of doing so in effective ways and avoid violating anti-discrimination and other significant employment laws. For example, Adler (2013) purports there are a variety of reasons that hiring managers have a hard time finding the best recruits, including that: (a) employers depend on a surplus of candidates during the hiring process, but seek them in a talent scarce environment; (b) candidates do not know how to engage in the hiring game; and (c) few hiring managers take responsibility for attracting quality candidates because they are focused on attracting quantity, hoping to discover that diamond in the rough. These are all significant issues that need to be addressed, dissected, understood, and reframed in a strategic manner to produce the most effective hiring programs that will attract top talent  (Adler, 2013).  Taking these components into consideration, hiring managers must also comprehend why people perform at peak levels while others underperform. Most hiring managers, however, maintain a preconceived notion that employers can remedy any situation that arises after the fact.

Next week’s post will have the conclusion with components that have been designed as an example to illustrate one effective method of how hiring managers can attract top level performers including job description, advertisement, as well as samples of legal and illegal questions that hiring managers can ask.



Adler, L. (2013). The essential guide for hiring and getting hired. Atlanta, GA: Workbench Media.

McKee, P. (2012). How to answer interview questions. Atlanta, GA: Career Confidential.

Rassas, L. (2011). Employment law: a guide to hiring, managing, and firing employers and employees. New York, NY: Aspen Publishers.

Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.


Published September 11, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair


Laws and doctrines help establish the choices that determine the rights of citizens in society regardless of gender, race, or age. Palumbo and Wolfson (2011) explain that many social systems emerged from ancient roots that were cultivated to treat people differently based on the race or sex. In addition, although evidence suggests early matriarchal traditions existed, patriarchal models have dominated Western civilization for millennia (Palumbo & Wolfson, 2011). In fact, the rise of patriarchy produced the manifestation and institutionalization of male dominance over family and society as a whole. Furthermore, men held power in all important facets of society. In short, a patriarchal system has been enforced, cultivated, legitimated, and perpetuated in a variety of manners throughout the ages and supported by religion and laws. In modern society, however, these practices are now viewed as a form of discrimination that federal government agencies like the EEOC, oversee based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Discrimination in the workplace is an ongoing issue in the evolution of humanity. According to Seaquist (2012) discrimination in a business environment affects not only the individual, but the climate of the company as a whole (Seaquist, 2012). A leader’s best defense, as in any legal issue, is to keep meticulous records, develop effective strategies and policies to discourage discrimination and incorporate systems to monitor behavior that include checks and balances. The challenge, however, that most leaders face, is that there are many forms of discrimination; it is not isolated to race, age, or sex only. In fact, discrimination can appear in the form of class, level of academics, religious preferences, and even based on the kind of pet an individual has. Discrimination in short is a concept that creates separation and distrust in people because it focuses on their “inequalities.”


Many of the founding fathers of this country believed that equality is the ideal that is at the core and fiber of every human being. Fredman (2011) in the meantime, asked us to contemplate the following concept: “When one person is like another, does that entitle them to be treated alike?” For example, for centuries it was commonly accepted that women were not like men and therefore deserved fewer rights. This concept still exists today in many countries. The same premise is used to deny rights to people of color, ethnic groups, sexual orientation, disability or age. Although one can agree or argue whether individuals are different or alike, many still contemplate as to whether they should or are entitled to be treated equally. This would suggest that the treatment of equality is predicated on the principle that justice is inconsistent. This paradox is evident when we accept that equality is formulated in different ways contingent upon the specific concept that is applied. This explains how the consistencies or inconsistencies of two individuals that appear to be alike, are in fact different in terms of things like: (a) access to power, (b) opportunities, and (c) material benefits that manifest in unequal outcomes. Therefore, an alternative view of inequality emerges that is based on perception of justice that is concentrated on balancing maldistribution (Fredman, 2011). This is one way to explain how discrimination continues to thrive and exist.


Some employers, however, engage in certain kinds of discrimination to justify their business practices. For example, many of the employees hired as cocktail waitresses in certain environments are employed based on a certain attractive look, age, gender and physical features. The reasoning behind this is that it is part of their marketing strategy which is aimed at a dominant male clientele. Although this can be construed as discrimination, EEOC mandates also protect an employer’s right to choose how to run their business and the marketing strategies they deem effective for their industry. As long as a company can produce evidence to support their business is based on profiting by hiring a certain group, whether based on attractive looks, religion, age, gender, or other criteria, the business can engage in this practice legally and within the framework of employment laws. In other words, a business owner can operate an establishment, hire a specific type of employee for specific duties, and the EEOC will not consider it discrimination as long as the employer can provide substantial reason and evidence to support their justification in doing so, that is consistent in their industry. Ultimately, it is the job of each and every business leader to make sure they are familiar with the business laws that govern their industry to ensure that they are not violating any statutes with respect to employment and discrimination laws.


Fredman, S. (2011). Discrimination law. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Palumbo, C., & Wolfson, B. (2011). The law of sex discrimination (Fourth ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Employer Liability for Negligent Hiring

Published September 9, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair


Smart business leaders have a firm grasp of comprehending the law and recognizing its limitations when it comes to operating a business. Walsh (2013) explains that, “No single set of employment law covers all workers” (Walsh, 2013). In fact, employment laws consists of a variety of federal, state, and local laws that are contingent upon such things like: (a) whether the individual is a government employee, (b) whether the individual works in the private sector, (c) the size of their company or (d) whether they have any union affiliation. In addition, employment laws are ever changing, as new employment laws are created and old ones are reinterpreted.


To better understand these laws, we will examine a case study of a scenario involving  a 17 year old plaintiff that seeks damages as a result of being violently assaulted by an employee of the defendant, XYZ Motor Freight Inc. When XYZ hired the employee that committed the assault, they questioned the individual with respect to prior vehicular offenses and criminal convictions. However, due to their position on EEOC discrimination statutes, XYZ only chose to verify his vehicular offenses and ignored his negative response to the criminal convictions inquiry. Rassas (2011) suggests that employers who have a working knowledge of labor law and the obligations of employers can help them avoid litigious events such as this. A lack of knowledge can unintentionally result in a failure to abide by a law and impact the operation of an organization significantly (Rassas, 2011). For example, employment laws have been established to protect both employees and employers by imposing certain responsibilities. For employees, employment at will is a default rule that permit employers to terminate employees without having a good reason. This means the employee has the freedom to engage in collective bargaining with their employers. In addition, according to employment laws, each relationship is subject to the terms and conditions of employment that meet minimum required standards. However, in today’s society the most effective and successful people, whether employer or employee, should also take responsibility and accountability to ensure their own safety as well as those of others.

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XYZ’s position is that it did not seek to verify the criminal background check citing they had no duty to do so because of a lack of foreseeability. They further defended their position stating that to impose such a duty would be against public policy and place too great a burden on them. However, in this case, failing to do so created another burden for them. Seaquist (2012) purports that when an employee is working within the scope of their employment, the employer will be liable to third parties for the torts of their workers under the doctrine of respondent superior (Seaquist, 2012). The plaintiff in this case seeks justice arguing that the employer should have been cognizant that the employee they hired was dangerous because he had a history and a record of violent sex related crimes when they hired him. In other words, by not checking his criminal background they created a dangerous condition by putting him in a situation in which he was able to bring harm to others because they failed to verify his criminal record.


Both sides have very effective defenses to support their position. XYZ claims they did not verify the criminal background check because they were acting in accordance with EEOC discrimination law issues. However, because the employee was hired to participate in interstate commerce, it is their responsibility to make sure the individual performs their duties to best of their ability and trust they will not engage in misconduct or inappropriate behavior. In my view, if I were a business leader for XYZ, I would be concerned about the damages from the negative publicity alone that a case like this attracts. That is reason enough to engage in thorough employee investigations scrutinizing criminal backgrounds a little closer because of the nature of the trucking industry. As a part of the legal counsel for XYZ, I would suggest a settlement to keep the matter private to preserve the organization’s reputation, and take responsibility for their employee’s ethical misconduct by paying any and all damages to the plaintiff as an act of good faith that supports an ethical corporate climate.


The plaintiff is in her right to seek damages for being so horrifically violated. However, the jury must decide on whether or not XYZ was responsible for negligence because they were acting in accordance with EEOC mandates with respect to the background check issue. Unfortunately, in a life changing situation as this, hopefully both parties learned some valuable life lessons from this experience. The defendant can begin to take more effective methods to insure the competence of their employees, and the plaintiff came to understand, that although an individual may represent an organization, that does not mean the individual is free of behavior from criminal or ethical misconduct. The moral of the story: never, ever, accept a ride from a stranger. The movie Hitchhiker was a good reminder as to why.


Rassas, L. (2011). Employment law: a guide to hiring, managing, and firing employers and employees. New York, NY: Aspen Publishers.

Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Walsh, D. (2013). Employment law for human resource practice. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Testing Employees

Published May 31, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Managers that seek to fill staff positions use a variety of employee testing techniques. It is one of the most effective ways a leader can ascertain whether an individual is qualified and skilled for a position at their organization. Hoffman (2001) predicates that organizational testing is on the rise. This is primarily due to the significant improvements of the tests themselves as a result of mathematical breakthroughs and advances in computer technology. Consequently, leaders now have the ability to review results more quickly and far more accurately. In addition, tests help managers filter out unappealing candidates and can differentiate those who are highly competent potentials (Hoffman, 2001). This research examines the role of employee testing in relation to the hiring process. We will also take a look at the components that go into designing the most effective screening methods to yield the highest results. Our research will illustrate that even though assessments can intimidate and scare off prospective applicants, testing employees is an important part of the staff selection process because it helps identify a candidate’s abilities, it presents a way to collect genuine and direct information, and can help distinguish high performance job candidates.


The Role of Testing

Leaders and Human Resource (HR) managers’ primary focus is to extract accurate information and responses in interviewees during the hiring process. Like thorough detectives, they gather data and initiate interviews to ascertain whether to offer the potential applicant the position they seek to fill. Falcone (2008) postulates that employers who yield the best results put a plan together that helps ascertain the following information: (a) what is the reason and motivation behind the applicant seeking the position, (b) does the person fill a need for the organization, (c) is the individual willing to commit to progressive career management with the firm or filling a temporary need waiting for the next occupational opportunity, (d) is the individual merely looking for a salary increase in their current position and using this as an opportunity for leverage, (e) will the individual adhere to specific job duties laid out in the job description or are they willing and able to assume additional responsibilities, (f) how well does the individual handle emotions like stress and constructive criticism, and (g) what kind of work ethic does the individual have (Falcone, 2008). In addition, leaders should strive to develop a strategic plan that garners the best responses and meet employers’ expectations.

One method organizations devise as a means to validate a candidate’s responses is by way of reference checks. Falcone (2008) points out that equally significant, HR Managers must be careful to avoid creating tests that will yield responses which encourage applicants to retort with long inventories or flowery adjectives regarding traits such as their nobility, intelligence, commitments, work ethics, and integrity. Adjectives are not proven claims, can waste time, and act as a side-track tactic for obtaining relevant information (Falcone, 2008). The tester’s main concern is acquiring concrete evidence of how a candidate will perform, contribute to the organizational goals, and fit on the company team.


Designing Effective Tests

Testing employees is an effective method to deduce employee competencies. This includes gathering information from a candidate with components like screening tools, exams, background checks, and interviews. No matter how one slices it, employers are looking to select the strongest candidates and the best people to fill open positions. Simultaneously, they are required to satisfy EEO, ADA, and civil rights laws to avoid costly and timely litigation. Designing and implementing effective employment tests helps managers find the best candidates that are highly motivated and driven to help them pursue organizational goals with efficiency and fairness. Therefore, employment testing is an efficient tool and an imperative component toward a manager’s finding high performance workers successfully. Wigdor’s (1989) research asserts that methods of testing should include the examination of skill levels, knowledge, and capabilities designed according to a set of predetermined conditions and guidelines specific to their organization. In addition, employers use testing to evaluate a candidate’s achievements, aptitude, abilities, and personality traits (Wigdor, 1989).

Employers have also changed the climate of the testing process at the workplace because of the efforts of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). For example, Meyers (2008) reveals that a recent study conducted from the National Research Council suggests that the widely used employment tests provided by the Department of Labor’s General Aptitude Test Battery allow employers to hire a wider demographic range. These tests are designed to preserve the benefits of the testing in a manner that breaks through the discrimination barriers of the past. As a result, there have been an increasing number of minorities in the workplace. In short, employers are now able to seek qualified candidates who are highly intelligent in a safe, supportive arena in a way that is fair to any potential candidate. In addition, Meyers (2008) discloses that the EEOC recently issued a document stating that anti-discrimination laws must be included in the design of employer tests, personality tests, medical examinations, criminal background checks, and credit checks. The EEOC contends that testing and other methods of screening are efficient methods to screen vast numbers of applicants and helps in the decision making process (Meyers, 2008). Employers are urged to educate themselves on these regulations to avoid violation of anti-discrimination laws and recommend employers implement “best practices” conduct when employing tests and screening tools.

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Testing employees is very effective for collecting valuable data. To achieve the best results, Arthur (1991) contends the environment should be consistent each time the test is conducted. This includes elements such as seating, space, ambiance, ventilation, and lighting. In addition, the same tools or screening devices should be distributed in the same fashion each time the test is given with the purpose of the test clearly explained to the candidate from the onset (Arthur, 1991). For instance, when an applicant submits information with adjectives purporting they are not afraid to work hard, the interviewer must find a way for the candidate to elaborate. For example, the interviewer may communicate to the applicant with a response that gives praise to hard workers and follow that by asking the applicant to share an experience of how hard they work in relation to their colleagues. Leaders do not want to intimidate and scare off potential hires, so they look for ways to ascertain the best information to help them in the decision making process. To find the best possible candidates, effective leaders and HR managers design and create tests that will help them attract, recruit, and maintain the highest level performers.



Employee testing presents an effective way to collect genuine and direct information. They are procedures that help determine whether an employee is an organizational fit. Proper administration should fall within the guidelines and regulations of the EEO, ADA, and civil laws to avoid any violation with privacy or discrimination issues. The EEOC offers employers fact sheets with information and guidelines that clearly lay out the parameters to help managers veer away from any potential pitfalls. Arthur’s (1991) research suggests that tests should be designed to measure skill levels and also help determine how driven an individual is as well as identify a potential hire’s undesirable traits and shortcomings. In addition, the EEOC requires that testing include a written policy that clearly identifies the main objectives of the position, regardless of religion, creed, race, gender, age, disability, or ethnicity (Arthur, 1991). In conclusion, while it can intimidate and scare off potential applicants, testing employees is a significant part of the hiring process because it identifies a candidate’s abilities and helps differentiate unappealing applicants from those who are high level performers.



Arthur, D. (1991, August). Conducting pre-employment and employment tests. supervisory management. Saranac Lake, NY, USA. Retrieved May 15, 2013, from

Falcone, P. (2008). 96 great interview questions to ask before you hire. New York, NY: AMACOM.

Hoffman, E. (2001). Ace the corporate personality test. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Meyers, J. L. (2008, March 12). Employment tests. Pittsburgh Post – Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Retrieved May 15, 2013, from

Wigdor, A. (1989, August 21). Employment tests can be useful. Chicago Tribune. Chicago, IL, USA. Retrieved 15 2013, May , from

The Tough Screener

Published May 29, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair


Employers are struggling with employee recruiting challenges from an inherent inability to attract qualified candidates, in spite the high unemployment conditions. Arthur (2012) suggests that employers develop a three way recruiting strategy. This includes: (a) providing clarity and details about the organization like a mission statement and what each department contributes to long and short term goals; (b) target their recruiting strategies to motivate, attract, and retain high level performers; and (c) offer clarity to the applicants with respect to job description, expectations, opportunities for growth and advancement, as well as compensation plans, and benefit packages (Arthur, 2012). Employers who make these components clear and concise as part of the application process, put applicants in a better position to identify whether there is the possibility of an organizational fit.


Although an employer is well within their rights to do as much homework as they can on a potential job candidate, they will ultimately run into issues if they do not remain within the legal framework and parameters of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), American Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Privacy Act of 1974. For example, conducting background checks requires a release that is fully executed by the applicant and gives authorization for a potential employer to conduct one (Dessler, 2011). Without this agreement, employers are setting themselves up for time consuming litigation by gathering information illegally or in a stealth manner without consent. In addition, although studies support the validity of honesty testing, most tests cannot accurately reveal the true nature of an individual. The test taker for example, may be focused on impressing their prospective employer. In fact, they may actually respond to a question the way they believe will render the highest score, rather than retort sincerely.


Instead, employers are encouraged to verbally ask honesty related questions like, “Have you ever covered up a lie for a colleague?”  In this way, the interviewer can detect clues in the applicant’s body language and the manner in which the individual responds to distinguish whether they feel the answer is satisfactory. A well skilled leader who participates in active listening can pick up nonverbal cues and discern whether the individual is sincere and confident in their response. Furthermore, some states like Rhode Island have very strict guidelines when it comes to implementing honesty tests in the application process. With strategic planning, leaders and Human Resource managers who are well versed in EEOC, ADA and the 1974 Privacy Act, can gather a wide range of candidate information legally, without violating any laws.



Arthur, D. (2012). Recruiting, interviewing, selecting & orienting new employees. New York, NY: AMACOM.

Dessler, G. (2011). A framework for human resource management (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Labor Laws and Hiring Staff

Published May 22, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair


Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act clearly states it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees based on race, religion, gender, nationality, or color. Not every anti-discrimination law however, applies to every employer. Title VII is applicable to employers with 15 or more employees. Therefore, each company is required to follow equal opportunity employment laws contingent on its size and location. Employers have an obligation to their employees however, to create an environment that encourages high performance levels and find ways to manage conduct that may be considered inappropriate, even if it is not illegal regardless of size (England, 2012).


Although it is not illegal to ask a job applicant personal questions like age and marital status, a query may be posed as long as the employer can show that it is not discriminatory or can defend the practice as a business necessity. For example, if the job consists of counseling married couples, asking the candidate their marital status helps the employer assess whether they can offer advice based on their own experiences.  Illustrative inquiries and procedures are not illegal; but there are reasons to avoid them. For instance, Federal law does not prohibit these questions, however, many state and county laws do. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 for instance, makes it unlawful to discriminate against employees who are 40 years and older.  In addition, the EEOC disapproves of this and employers may need to defend themselves. Furthermore, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) employers cannot pose questions about the arrest records of an applicant. Arrest records are not valid in calculating job performances. In addition, application forms should not contain questions that pertain to a candidate’s disabilities, worker compensation history, age arrest record, marital status or US citizenship.  In short, personal information should be obtained for legitimate reasons like emergency contacts. If an employer seeks further information they can do so after an employee is hired  and with the employee’s written consent, to determine whether the individual is capable of performing their job requirements safely with punctuality (Dessler, 2011).


The EEOC guidelines state it is an employer’s duty to establish a workplace that is free of harassment and intimidation. Permitting this conduct can lead to litigation and compensatory damages. Employers are held responsible for hostile environments created by coworkers and clients (Dessler, 2011). Abhorrent behavior in any setting is unacceptable. The employers should clearly establish defined rules and parameters of what is accepted and unaccepted language and behavior ensuring employees are aware of these policies as well as the consequences for violating them. Although an occasional cuss word may not be considered offensive to most, creating an environment that makes others uncomfortable or cringe due to poor language is never good practice and it puts violators in a position of power because they know they will not be reprimanded.


Leaders will experience problems because they did not have enough knowledge to identify inappropriate conduct. Cobb (2013) states that a work place where discrimination, harassment and poor behavioral choices are allowed to occur can undermine the goal pursuits of an organization and effect their profitability and growth. In addition, it has a damaging impact on the corporation and its public image. Costs from litigation, high employee turnover, low morale, absenteeism and counseling are the result of ineffective EEO knowledge. Harassment and discrimination create stress in the work place. Protecting the health and safety of the work environment and managing stress levels are complicated issues that can be successfully managed with efficient HR programs (Cobb, 2013). It is highly recommended that employers establish or hire an HR unit to help them with their EEO related issues.



Cobb, E. P. (2013). Bullying, violence, harassment, discrimination, and stress. Louisville, KY, USA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing.

Dessler, G. (2011). A framework for human resource management (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

England, D. (2012). The essential guide to handling workplace harassment & discrimination. (2nd, Ed.) Berkeley, CA, USA: Nolo.