Checklist | Preparing Legally Compliant Interview Questions

From: Staffing

Checklist | Preparing Legally Compliant Interview Questions

The following checklist outlines steps to help employers comply with federal and state fair employment laws that affect interviewing job applicants. It also includes general information about laws that protect applicants against discrimination based on certain personal characteristics, disabilities, and medical conditions, and laws that aim to promote equal pay by prohibiting questions about an applicant’s past salary or wages. 

The checklist is divided into four distinct sections: 

  1. Section 1: Provides tips for designing interview questions without regard to any applicable laws.  
  2. Section 2: Discusses how to identify and flag problematic questions under federal law.
  3. Section 3: Discusses how to identify and flag problematic questions under state laws.
  4. Section 4: Provides information about legal exceptions and includes guidelines for refining interview questions.

Each section is distinct, so employers are encouraged to complete all four sections to ensure they adhere to applicable federal and state legal requirements.

This checklist is intended to be used as a guide, and not all of the following steps may be necessary to create and manage interviewing practices. Therefore, the steps in this list should be modified to meet the unique needs and situation of an organization. 

Employers are encouraged to seek individualized legal counsel to address specific issues and concerns.

  • Section 1: Crafting Interview Questions 
  • Section 2: Flag Problematic Questions Under Federal Law 
  • Section 3: Flag Problematic Questions Under State Laws
  • Section 4: Refine the Question List  

Successful interviewing practices will differ based on an organization’s unique needs and applicable legal requirements. Regularly evaluating interviewing practices and processes can help organizations ensure compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws and strengthen attraction and retention efforts. It can also help organizations identify any gaps in their processes and adjust to avoid incurring costly fines and penalties or losing key talent. 

Use this checklist as a guide when reviewing your company’s compliance with applicable interviewing laws and legal requirements. For assistance, contact George Belcher Evans & Wilmer.

This checklist is merely a guideline. It is neither meant to be exhaustive nor meant to be construed as legal advice. It does not address all potential compliance issues with federal, state or local standards. Consult your licensed representative at George Belcher Evans & Wilmer or legal counsel to address possible compliance requirements. © 2023 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.


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