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Weekly HR News - Hiring Practices
Do I have to post notice of a city job opening?
There is no Kentucky or Federal law that requires a city to post or advertise a job opening. However, each city should review their policies to see if this is addressed as a requirement. Even if it is not a requirement, the best way to prevent a discrimination complaint or lawsuit filed against a city is to advertise a job opening and then ensure that the city hires the applicant that is best qualified for the position.
Federal and state laws prohibit hiring practices that discriminate on the grounds of age, disability, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy and military service. In addition, local city ordinances as well as city policies may include other prohibitions in regards to discrimination. A city’s hiring practice of only advertising a job opening by word of mouth, could be used as evidence of discriminatory intent if a claim is filed against the city. To avoid this, a city should advertise a job opening so that it reaches a large cross-section of the population. To accomplish this, the city could advertise in a general circulation newspaper and on the internet. In addition, posting jobs internally that are promotional opportunities for current employees is a good idea as long as it is pursuant to a consistent policy of doing so. If a city does not have a hiring policy, including a policy regarding the advertisement of a job opening, the city should consider adopting one.
The advertisement for the open position should be based on the city job description that provides the qualifications and responsibilities, based on the essential functions of the position. The advertisement should not include any reference to sex, race, national origin, or any other protected class.
By taking the time to adopt a hiring policy and to advertise a job opening to a wide range of people, an employer increases its chance of hiring the best qualified person for the job and decreases the chance of a discrimination claim or lawsuit.
For questions on hiring or other personnel matters, as well as sample policies, contact Andrea Shindlebower with the KLC Legal Department.