Many times, employment application forms serve as the initial point of contact between employer and employee. Berger Kahn attorney Erin Mindoro offers six tips to get the most out of an employment application in her new article “Thinking Outside the Checked Box,” in the small business and entrepreneurial publication “You The Entrepreneur.”
Mindoro shares six thoughtful tips including:
“Limit criminal background questions to convictions and pending charges.
California law only allows certain criminal background questions on applications. For example, misdemeanor and felony conviction questions are fair game. But arrest questions are not allowed, unless they are limited to only current charges where the applicant is waiting for trial. While some exceptions exist, other off-limit topics include: sealed or expunged records, minor traffic offenses, dismissed charges, and marijuana offenses over two years old.
Save creative questions for the interview.
While it might personalize the application for a retailer to ask about design preferences or a music store to ask about the applicant’s favorite kinds of music, specific lines of questions can open the door to challenges. If an applicant indicates a personal preference that may align with a legally protected characteristic, it can later be misconstrued as discrimination.”