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Running head: LEGAL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 1

Human Resources Personnel Plan:

Legal Employment Practices

Michelle Schmid

Tarleton State University


LEGAL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 2

Any business no matter how large or small must set up policies and practices for

hiring employees within the confines of the law. The two main enforcement bodies for

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is the Equal Employment Opportunity

Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The EEOC enforces

employment laws for employees in both private and public workplaces while the DOL

has broad enforcement power and oversees compliance with many employment related

laws (Mathis et al., 2014). One of the important functions of human resources

management is ensure that workforce planning and employment activities are compliant

with applicable federal laws and regulations (Mathis, Jackson, Valentine, 2014).

Workforce planning starts with work flow design and job analysis to get detailed

information to assign jobs based on specific tasks. By having a clear understanding what

each job requires an employer can create a job description for each job and therefore base

their hiring requirements appropriately and avoid any discriminatory practices based on

protected characteristics. Employers can start with creating an appropriate job

application that asks for relevant information based on the job. For example, if a person is

applying for a job with a police department then questions referencing credit reports and

criminal history is relevant. In the case of veterinary medicine, it is also reasonable for an

employer to ask about educational background if applying for a position as a licensed

veterinary technician. Once an employer has a potential employee’s employment

application and has asked them to come in for an interview then it is the responsibility of

the HR manager to understand what questions (see Appendix A for a list of some

questions to avoid) can and cannot be asked based on protected characteristics (see

Appendix B for a list of protected characteristics).


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Once an employer hires an employee the employer must have the employee fill

out an W-4 and an I-9. The employer is also required to register you with the state’s new

hire notification system to allow the state to collect for child support. An employee

handbook should also be given to new employee so that they know what is expected of

them, information on benefits, such as, medical, vacation and sick time, and disciplinary

actions. All employers are also required to ensure that each employee works in an

environment that is free from hazards.

Lastly, Texas is an employment at will state, meaning that if there is no contract

between employer and employee, either may end the employment relationship at any

time for any reason. Therefore, it is important that a company develop a standardized and

systematic approach to dismissing an employee to avoid any discrimination or

unemployment lawsuits. One way a company can protect themselves is by developing a

clear and concise disciplinary process. Managers and supervisors are vital to the HR

department in handling these types of issues, and in order to be efficient they need to

have training in all aspects of HR from the hiring to firing and everything in between so

that they can avoid any discriminatory or other illegal practices.


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References

Mathis, R.L., Jackson, J.H., Valentine, S.R. (2014) Human Resource Management. (14th

ed.) Stamford: Cengage Learning.

April 3, 2017. Applications: Legal Issues: What commonly asked questions should not be

on an employment application? Society for Human Resource Management.

Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-

qa/pages/applicationslegalissueswhatcommonlyaskedquestionsshouldnotbeonane

mploymentapplication.aspx
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Appendix A

Interview Questions

1. Inquiries about an applicant’s date of birth can be considered discriminatory

unless the state requires a minimum age for employment for certain occupations

2. Inquiries of an applicant’s military discharge can be asked only if relevant to work

experience and training received. An employee can ask about dates of service,

duties performed, rank during service at time of discharge, pay during service,

training received, and work experience.

3. Inquiries about an applicant’s race should not be asked. If this information is

needed for tracking affirmative action plans or compliance with Uniform

guidelines this should be done separately from the application.

4. An employer can inquire if an applicant is legally eligible to work in the United

States and inform the applicant that proof of eligibility must be provided if

selected for hire.

5. Many states prohibit marital status discrimination, making questions related to

that status possible evidence of discriminatory hiring practices.


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Appendix B

Protected Characteristics

. These protected characteristics include:

 Age
 Color
 Disability
 Genetic information
 Marital status
 Military status or experience
 National origin
 Pregnancy
 Race
 Religion
 Sexual orientation