For those on-the-job hunt or companies looking to add more employees to their workforce, it is essential to understand your rights in the hiring process. While many laws vary by industry, the best place to start is Equal Employment Opportunity, established under Executive Order 1124 and applicable to all sectors.
What is Equal Employment Opportunity?
Acting as their government agency, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission oversees all workers and job applicants protected against discrimination. These laws extend to most companies with 15 or more employees, labor unions, and employment agencies. The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prevents discrimination against someone based on their:
- Sex (Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Pregnancy)
- National Origin
- Age (40 years or older)
- Genetic Information
This applies to all stages of the hiring process, from creating job ads, recruiting and distributing applications. Additionally, these laws extend to the time an employee is with the company when making decisions about performance tests, promotions, pay, benefits, referrals, and layoffs. This ensures that no one throughout any work encounter faces discrimination based on any of the above points.
Under the Equal Employment Opportunity, it is also illegal to enforce a dress code discriminating against someone based on their religion or ethnic beliefs.
As a staffing agency, we heavily emphasize EEO regarding the hiring and job application process. When reviewing job applicants, we base our decisions on their experience and if their skill set matches the client’s needs. Additionally, we ensure that our clients are being placed in jobs suited to their goals while experiencing a fair and equal hiring process.
EEOC Mission Mission Statement
Prevent and remedy unlawful employment discrimination and advance equal opportunity for all in the workplace.
How to Ensure a Fair Hiring Process.
To ensure a fair and equal hiring process, we have included some essential tips and information to help one throughout their job search.
As you start looking for jobs, any job advertisement or poster should not contain any information that favors an applicant based on their race, color, religion, or any of the factors that can discriminate against one.
As you are getting your resume ready for submission, some resumes have now started to include one’s professional headshot. At HEPCO, we suggest leaving a professional picture off your resume, as it is illegal to ask for a picture of a candidate before an offer is made. Furthermore, you do not want someone to make any conclusions about you based on appearance before they can learn your skillset. For more information on the practices of placing a photo on your resume, read more from this article from Indeed.
During the interview, there is a slew of questions that recruiters are allowed to ask a job applicant to ensure they can be a reliable and successful employee. It is important to not confuse these questions with thinking that they are in violation of equal employment.
Appropriate questions companies can ask in the hiring process include:
- Do you have a reliable method of transportation?
- Are you legally eligible to work in the United States?
- Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
- What are your salary expectations for this position?
- Can you perform the duties of the job you are applying for?
These questions come from SHRM, Guidelines on Interview and Employment Application Questions.
On the other hand, companies are not allowed to ask you any questions relating to one’s:
- Marital Status
- Disability Status
A full list can be found online on SHRM.com.
While this is not a complete list of how illegal hiring practices can show up throughout your job search, familiarizing yourself with the EEOC and being aware of your rights as a job applicant can protect you from facing job discrimination.
For More Information:
If you are interested in learning more about illegal hiring practices, you can visit eeoc.gov.
Also, anyone who has felt they have been a victim of unfair hiring practices can file a report through the Equal Employment opportunity commission.