As we reported in an earlier blog post, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice issued guidance in the waning days of the Obama administration reminding HR professionals and others that the antitrust laws could apply in the employment arena, particularly with respect to hiring and compensation matters. There was some question about how vigorously the Trump Administration’s antitrust enforcement would be in this area, but those questions should no longer exist. 2018 is already turning out to likely be an important year regarding antitrust attacks on “no-poach” agreements between businesses, with a class being certified in a major damage action and the head of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division indicating last month that criminal indictments based upon such agreements would be shortly forthcoming. Executives and HR Departments should recognize the significant risks associated with express or implied agreements or “understandings”—or even “gentlemen’s agreements”—where businesses agree not to hire (or poach) each other’s employees or executives.
This past year, a growing number of states and municipalities banished the Ghost of Christmas Past from haunting job applicants. As a result, employers in those jurisdictions must resolve now to bid auld lang syne to asking applicants about their salary and criminal histories. Employers should take a fresh look at their job applications, and hiring practices, policies and procedures and update them now to remain in compliance in the New Year.
Recent cases in New York and Pennsylvania demonstrate that, at least in some jurisdictions and under some circumstances, a plaintiff can state a valid claim for unlawful gender discrimination based on a spouse’s jealousy.
Yes I realize that had my Corporate Divorce series progressed in a linear way, I would have started with The Courtship instead of The Break Up, but employment law metaphors are sometimes unpredictable. In my defense, I note that if you end up in divorce, you must have started with marriage, so there is a certain logic to this after all.
Marriage typically (though not always) starts with courtship, which is the “wooing of one person by another” and the “period during which such wooing takes place.” It occurred to me that the marriage metaphor is particularly apt for the very unique “wooing” that takes place during the employment recruiting process. And, like the courtship process, there is, during this time, some significant insecurities regarding how a love interest (or a prospective employer) might actually feel about you. An employer’s feelings toward a recruit are often, though not always, expressed through financial and other tangible benefits.
How do you test that theory without turning off your suitor? The answer is to use your courtship period to your financial benefit without spoiling the mood. It can be done but it must be done with care.
Welcome to the latest installment in my corporate divorce series. In my last article I gave some practical advice about how to handle an unexpected firing – a corporate break-up. Now I’m moving to the other end of the employment life cycle: hiring and negotiation of the employment contract.
Written by Martha Zackin.
On October 20, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a hearing on employer use of credit history as tool to screen candidates for employment. The purpose of the hearing, according to an EEOC press release, was to gather information on the practice of using credit histories as employment screening devices, a practice that “could unfairly exclude” some people from job opportunities.