HR 101: The Latest Updates About the Hiring Process

Now that the economy is starting to rebound and more employers are looking for help, hiring is on the uptick. However, if you are new to HR, it’s best to study the following Federal laws before interviewing and extending an offer to someone:

What about COVID-19?

Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s important NOT to ask if the person has been vaccinated, but rather state your company’s mandates and procedures about creating a safe environment to protect all employees.

When can you use a medical exam in the hiring process?
The Americans with Disabilities Act, which applies to businesses with 15 or more employees, provides strict rules relating to the use of pre-employment medical exams. In addition, Ohio has its disability discrimination laws that apply to employers of 4 or more employees. Those rules are summarized as follows:

Pre-offer – Before an offer is made, employers may not require an applicant to take a medical exam;

Post-offer – An employer may make a job offer contingent upon the applicant successfully passing a medical exam. However, the employer may not refuse to hire an individual with a disability based upon the exam results unless the reason for the rejection decision is job-related and justified by serious business issues.

A test given to detect illegal drugs’ current use is not considered a medical exam under the ADA. Therefore, such a test may be given before an offer is made to the applicant. 


What are the right and wrong questions during a job interview?

Ask questions that establish whether the applicant can or cannot perform the job duties. A helpful resource is the Ohio Civil Rights Commission’s Pre-Employment Inquiries and Questions for Green (legal), Yellow (questionable), and Red (illegal) questions.

When interviewing applicants for the same position, ask each candidate identical questions. Then, take extensive notes on their answers.


How can you establish and preserve the “at-will” relationship during the hiring process?

Under the “at-will” doctrine, the relationship between an employer and employee may be terminated “at-will” by either party at any time. Therefore, it’s essential to create and maintain the “at-will” status to ensure operational flexibility.

Creating an “at-will” relationship starts during the hiring process in two areas:

Employment Application – Job applications should provide that the applicant, if hired, is not employed for a definite period; that the employment relationship may be terminated at any time, by either party, with or without notice; and that the only way to change the terms of the employment relationship is by use of a written contract signed by both parties.

Offer Letter – Use of an offer letter should notify the prospective employee of the “at-will” nature of the relationship.

Need Help with Your HR Hiring Process?

We can help you establish clear and actionable Human Resources hiring policies that will help avoid subconscious bias, adhere to federal and state laws, and find the best employees! All policies should be reviewed and updated at least once a year to ensure your employee handbook reflects current procedures.