As a business owner, you certainly do not intend to discriminate when you hire. You know that all workers deserve an equal opportunity, regardless of their age, race, religion, national origin and many other factors. These are known as protected classes and you’re not allowed to discriminate based on them, nor do you want to do so.
However, you could make innocent mistakes that lead to accidental issues with discrimination. This sometimes happens when looking to hire new employees. It’s important to understand how these mistakes can be made so that you can avoid doing them yourself.
Avoid language that is exclusive
For instance, you simply want to be careful with the wording that you use when creating your job postings. One problem that has cropped up in the past is that some employers would say they were looking to hire recent college graduates. Their idea was that they wanted a fresh new influx of talent from people who just took classes and knew about the modern work environment and all of the newest technology.
This does make sense if that’s what your goal is, but phrasing it this way could make it appear that you are discriminating against older workers who graduated from college a few decades ago. If someone is in their forties, it has been 15 to 20 years since they graduated and they may think that, based on their age, they’re being told that they won’t even be considered for the position. They may feel that this is discrimination because they are clearly qualified and they have all of the skills necessary, but they can’t get the job and they feel like they shouldn’t even apply.
If you do find yourself facing a lawsuit or any sort of complications based on a mistake like this, it’s important to know about the legal options you and your business have.