Compliance Corner – Issue 1.1

Now that spring has sprung, hiring season is underway. But, before you start the interviews, as keen as you are to converse with this cohort of candidates, you might want to brush up on the basics. And by “the basics,” we mean you need to look beyond the resumes and the time slots and the room where it happens. You need to give some thought to what you are going to say.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA) prohibits you from asking questions that might lead to discrimination or the appearance of discrimination.

Marci Martin, Business News Daily

According to Business News Daily‘s Marci Martin,

“Bottom line: you cannot ask questions that in any way relate to a candidate’s:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Color
  • Gender
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Birthplace
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Marital status
  • Family status
  • Pregnancy
  • Salary history (in some states)”

Martin goes on to acknowledge how hard this can be, “…especially if you develop an easy rapport with the candidate during the interview.” And according to VCU’s Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition Tanya-Lee Giscombe, “Hiring managers must be careful…(they) must be aware of illegal questions that an employer cannot ask that may seem harmless.” Even a question as innocent as “How did you learn Spanish?” or “When did you graduate from high school?” are off-limits, she says.

So, make sure you and your team understand the law. Visit the EEOA site, read Martin’s article and role play some interviews before candidates arrive. To ensure consistency as well as compliance, Martin suggests that you and your team ask every candidate the same pre-planned questions.

With a little effort, you can ensure that your next round of interviews is not only successful, but legal, too.


What’s New with Policy?

Want to know which university policies have changed, and which ones have been added? You can read all about the latest policy updates in the April issue of Policy Points. This quarterly report highlights policy changes from January through March of 2022.

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