Workers, 1901

Advertising and recruiting of desired applicants are the first steps in the hiring process. Such outreach must not discriminate against members of any “protected class,” characteristics shielded by federal and state employment discrimination laws. In California, these include race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, and military and veteran status.

Advertisements should thus not restrict, exclude or classify potential candidates based on any such protected class. For example, do not use language indicating a preferred age range under age 40, such as “young and energetic,” “youthful,” “recent college graduate,” “boy,” “girl,” or “must have grown up using technology from an early age.”

Also steer clear of terms such as “must be a U.S. citizen” (unless the job legally requires it for government clearance, etc.) or “the ideal candidate is a single person able to travel frequently.”

Best practices include:

  • Use gender-neutral job titles, such as foreperson and salesperson
  • Ensure you are not restricting or preferring individuals on the basis of any “protected class”
  • Include the phrase “An Equal Opportunity Employer” with the job listing
  • When including images with your job posting, make sure they represent a diverse population

For further assistance, please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth

August 2, 2019

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