Hiring practices in Virginia
Federal and state laws are clear regarding what are and are not appropriate areas of inquiry during the hiring process.
One wrong question can lead to a lawsuit.
Everyone knows that it's illegal to discriminate during the hiring process based on race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious beliefs, national origin, disability, age, or genetic information. But few employers know that that they might be inadvertently discriminating when they draft their job descriptions or when they decide where to place their ads. Ads should be published in different places to not have a discriminatory effect.
If a candidate that you do not hire believes that you engaged in illegal discrimination, he or she can sue you. You better believe that his or her lawyer will look for evidence, no matter how miniscule, of discrimination on your part. If you advertise in only one publication, which does not normally reach a protected class, that can serve as evidence of your discriminatory practice. If you use certain words that subtly hints at a preference for a particular type of person (i.e., salesman instead of salesperson), that can serve as evidence of your discriminatory practice. Like pebbles in a bucket, put enough in there and the evidence will weigh heavily against you.
There are too many laws and too many regulations coming from too many different places for you to prepare for. Unfortunately, there is no one place to find the answers. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans With Disability Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act are just some federal laws deal with hiring employees. Then there are Virginia laws that you must consider during the hiring process.
Once you hire employees, you must continue to abide by these and other federal and state laws. There are so many traps that small business owners, who are focusing on growing their business, cannot possibly keep up with.
This is just a partial list of the many issues that you might run into. Educate yourself. Protect yourself. Protect your business.