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EEOC Compliance In Job Ads: What Recruiters Need To Know

by Beverly Aarons 14. February 2011 08:53
Under laws enforced by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) employers and recruiters are required to post job advertisement which show no preference for race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Below are some examples of wording in job ads which could get employers and recruiters in trouble with the EEOC:

1.     “Looking for recent law school grads…”  By asking for recent law school graduates recruiters/employers could be discouraging those who are over 40 from applying for the job. While there are some exceptions to this rule, such as apprenticeships which have age limits, asking for recent grads when it’s not necessary to do the job could cause problems.

2.     “In search of a single female attorney who can work long hours…”  Once again asking for a specific gender is a violation of the EEOC job advertisement guidelines. Even if the gender is a protected class, it still discriminates against men.

3.     “Need an attorney who is a native speaker of English…”  While English proficiency is important for any type of legal work, asking for a native speaker could be viewed as discriminatory against people whose national origin is someplace outside of the U.S.  

Recruiters and employers also need to be aware that the EEOC is looking at recruitment methods which may not be intentionally discriminatory but which may exclude certain groups because the method is not inclusive.  For example, recruiting exclusively by word of mouth through an employer’s limited social network may exclude certai, genders, races or classes from having the opportunity to hear about the job.


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