December 29, 2015

Avoiding Discrimination in Advertising

Weekly HR News – Discrimination
Avoiding Discrimination in Advertising

There is no legal requirement that a city advertise a job opening; however, there are many reasons why doing so can be a good idea.  Some of the advantages include:

  • Bringing a larger pool of applicants, which increases the city’s chance of finding the right person for the job. 
  • External recruitment provides an opportunity for a fresh outlook.
  • Bringing in fresh talent from the outside can help motivate the current employees to produce and achieve more in hopes of obtaining the next promotional opportunity.
  • Hiring an external candidate also opens up many opportunities to find experienced and highly-qualified and skilled candidates that are diversified from what the city currently employs.

If the city chooses to advertise a job opening they must be certain that they avoid discrimination within the advertisement.  Under Title VII as well as KRS 344, it is illegal to discriminate against someone (applicant or employee) because of that person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information or because a person is a smoker or nonsmoker.  Also keep in mind, that if your city has enacted a fairness ordinance, you may have additional protected classes that you need to be aware of in regards to the employment process.

Examples of common illegal postings include:

  • No more than __ years’ experience.
  • Looking for a student.
  • Seeking male candidate … or even seeking policeman can be considered discriminatory.
  • Only US citizens should apply.
  • Seeking able bodied applicant.

In addition, all job advertisements should include an EEOC statement such as “The City of ________________ is an Equal Opportunity Employer”, as well as an ADA statement that states, “Any applicant who needs an ADA accommodation in the employment selection process shall request the accommodation from the ___________.”

For questions on this or other personnel matters, contact Andrea Shindlebower with the KLC Legal Department.