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How employers can violate your rights during the hiring process

When you think about getting hired for a new job, you probably think about it in a pretty straightforward fashion -- as many do. There's a job opening and you interview for it. If the interviewer liked your answers, you get called back for more interviews and discussions. If all goes well, then within a few weeks you will be celebrating a new position at a new company. Congratulations!

However, there is a far more complicated legal process underlying the entire hiring process. The company that is interviewing candidates and trying to determine who is the best person for their open position has to go about their search in a compliant and legal way. Otherwise they risk running afoul of the law and violating a job candidate's rights.

For example, there are very clear rules about what questions the company can ask a candidate. The company can't ask you questions about your desire to have children; they can't inquire about your sexual preferences, religion, race or citizenship status; they can't ask about your intent to get married, or if you are married in the first place; and they can't ask you if you live with a disability.

Beyond the questions in an interview, the company has to follow protocol when hiring a new employee. They have to obtain a federal employee ID number for you from the IRS; they have to register you with the state for unemployment compensation tax purposes; they have to establish a host of payroll and insurance policies for you; and, generally speaking, they have to legally hire you.

At any step during the hiring process, a company or employer may be out of line or violate a candidate's rights. For those seeking employment, it is important to realize this unfortunate possibility.

Source: FindLaw, "Legal Rights During the Hiring Process," Accessed Oct. 13, 2016

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