Gearing up for the holidays? Before you set out to hire holiday help, take the time to ensure your hiring practices are up to date. Here are a few best practices to consider:

1. Don’t ask about prior convictions on your job application. Many municipalities in New York have adopted ban-the-box laws. Be sure to check your local laws before you ask about prior convictions.

2. Don’t ask candidates to submit a copy of their driver’s license with their application. Obtaining an applicant’s photo creates unnecessary risk for a discrimination claim.

3. Do get an applicant’s permission before conducting a background check. Make it a practice to allow the applicant to review and correct any errors in the report.

4. Avoid asking questions about family (spouse/partner/children), age, religion, or membership in any other protected class. This prohibition applies to both the application and interview.

5. Do review the job functions with the applicant and ask – and document – whether she can do the job with or without a reasonable accommodation.

While it isn’t possible to cover every possible circumstance, following these tips will have you well on your way to compliant hiring practices. We strongly urge you to work with a qualified attorney or HR professional who knows your industry and New York law.

If you have questions about whether your hiring practices are compliant or if a unique situation arises, contact us. Our attorneys would be glad to assist you.