01.27.2021 | COVID-19 | Newsletters

Review Your Employment Applications and Recruiting Practices

By Shawn M. Joost

In the midst of trying to manage the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have missed new Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) regulations, which went into effect July 1, 2020. These may require changes in your job application forms. Make sure that you:

DON’T request work availability information in a way that might ascertain the applicant’s religion or disability.

So, for example, don’t ask “Can you work on Sundays?” Instead ask “Are there days you are unavailable to work, other than for reasons related to your religion, disability, or medical condition?”

DON’T ask questions that may reveal the applicant’s age.

For example, remove any requests for graduation dates.

DO include a mechanism in online application technology for applicants to request an accommodation of disability.

DON’T use online application technology that includes algorithms that screen out applicants age 40 or over or use drop-down menus containing age-based cut-off dates.

And, as a reminder, while you are reviewing your application forms, be sure they comply with two laws from recent years:

DON’T ask if an applicant has been convicted of a crime.

DON’T ask for an applicant’s compensation rate at any prior job.

Finally, when you update your application forms electronically, also be sure to instruct everyone to destroy old hard copies of the applications.


Related practice team: Labor and Employment

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