When hiring employees, employers in the Houston area want to ensure that they are hiring the right people for the job. They want to know potential employees’ education levels, work experience, training and other information that tells them whether a certain applicant is the best fit for the job. This process should only include questions that specifically relate to the applicants’ qualifications for the job and nothing else.
Discrimination in the hiring process is not allowed. Employers cannot base their hiring decisions based on applicants’ race, religion, gender, disability, age or other protected classes of individuals. Employers still do discriminate though. However, they generally do not make it obvious they are discriminating against a particular applicant. To determine whether employers are discriminating, it is important to pay attention to the questions they ask on the application.
Application questions and test that are discriminatory
Employers cannot ask questions that are designed to determine applicants’ race, gender, religion, age or questions that disproportionately screen out people based on being a part of a protected class. They cannot inquire about disabilities. They should also avoid questions about organizations or clubs the applicants may be associated with as those questions can be used to indicate applicants’ race, religion, disability, national origin and other aspects which cannot be used as a basis for hiring an applicant.
Employers can only have tests for applicants as part of the application process that are relevant and necessary for the job. The tests cannot unfairly exclude people because of their age, disability, race, gender or other discriminatory reasons. They also must provide reasonable accommodations to those with disabilities so they can complete any tests as a part of the hiring process.
Employers in the Houston area cannot discriminate against their current employees and they cannot discriminate in their hiring practices. If they do the victims may be entitled to compensation for the discrimination. As stated above, discriminatory hiring practices are usually not overt, but experienced attorneys understand the signs that employers are in fact discriminating and may be a useful resource.