The job market is highly competitive, with an abundance of experienced, highly qualified candidates all vying for the same position. Employers have the right to be specific in what they want in an employee, and to cast a wide net before choosing the person they think would be best suited for the job. At the same time, basing marketing practices and hiring decisions on applicant characteristics, such as age, race, or gender, or refusing jobs to otherwise qualified candidates due to their physical attributes or disabilities are examples of job discrimination that can land a company in hot water as an employment lawyer in Towson, MD from a law firm like Seigel & Rouhana, LLC can explain.
Practices Prohibited When Filling Jobs
Discrimination is prohibited not only on the job site, but also in the procedures and practices employers use in filling positions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advises that the following are five areas in which discrimination often occurs:
- Job Postings and Advertisements: Employers are prohibited from posting job ads that either solicit or prohibit certain applicants based on age, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or due to physical disabilities. An example would be an ad seeking young workers, or one stating females are preferred.
- Job Recruitment: Showing a preference for recruiting employees from any of the above protected groups is also prohibited, such as seeking candidate exclusively in Hispanic markets, resulting in a workforce made up predominantly of Hispanic workers.
- Applications and Interviews: Employers are prohibited from refusing to give or accept job applications or from refusing interviews with prospective employees in protected groups and must accommodate workers with disabilities.
- Job Assignments: Workers may not discriminate by segregating workers from protected groups from other employees, or by only offering them certain positions, such as making them work in kitchens or stockrooms, so they have little contact with customers.
- Pay and Benefits: Employers are required to set fair wage and benefit standards for all employees and may not discriminate by paying workers in protected groups less than others or refusing to offer them benefits.
How Do You Know If You Are Being Discriminated Against?
To avoid discrimination lawsuits, employers should be attentive to details in their hiring processes, and specific both in terms of the position offered, the compensation and benefits a position offers, and the skill and education level of the person they are looking to hire. Interviews should follow set guidelines, with questions designed to further assess qualifications provided in a resume or job application.
If a prospective employer does not follow these types of guidelines, this should be a red flag. To protect yourself against discrimination as a job seeker, it is important to do the following:
- Make a note of each application or resume you submit;
- Document all interactions you have with the employer;
- Write down the specific types of interview questions you are asked;
- If you are denied a job, request feedback on factors that went into the decision.
If you suspect discrimination, call or contact a qualified employment law firm right away. We can arrange a free consultation with our employment discrimination attorneys to help determine whether your rights were violated and the best course of action in your situation.