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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Making an Employment Decision?

3. I'm recruiting, hiring or promoting employees.

Ensuring that all employees involved in recruitment, hiring and promotion decisions understand their responsibilities may help prevent discrimination.

  • Explain your recruitment, hiring and promotion policies and practices to employees involved in making these decisions, including employees who accept applications.
  • Ensure that recruitment, hiring and promotion decisions are not based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, disability, age (40 or older) or genetic information (including family medical history).
    • However, in limited circumstances, you may consider an applicant's sex, religion, age or disability when making hiring decisions.
    • These rules can be complicated. You may want to consult a lawyer or contact the EEOC for assistance.
  • Screen applications consistently. Apply the same standards to everyone applying for the same position.
  • Accommodate applicants who need assistance because of their medical condition or religious beliefs, if required by law.
    • For example, you may need to help a person with carpal tunnel syndrome fill out an application, or you may need to reschedule an interview originally scheduled for a religious holiday if the applicant's religious beliefs prevent her from working on that day.
  • If you use hiring practices (for example, tests or background checks) that have an especially negative effect on applicants of a particular race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, disability status or age (40 or older), ensure that you can justify the practice under the law.
  • When interviewing applicants, keep in mind that there are certain questions that you can't or shouldn't ask.
  • Retain applications and any interview notes for at least one year.

See also:

Hiring Practices That Have a Negative Effect on Certain Applicants

What can't I ask when hiring?

What shouldn't I ask when hiring?