What NOT to Ask Employees or Applicants

written by Rebecca Gomez

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from untitledmaking non-job related inquiries of employees or job applicants, either verbally or through use of an application form.

Employers are generally prohibited from making the following types inquiries:

  • mental or physical disability or medical condition
  • If the applicant has ever filed a workers’ compensation claim
  • Arrest (s) that didn’t lead to a conviction
  • Criminal conviction history [Unless a conditional offer has been made]
  • Minor marijuana offenses that are more than two years old
  • Salary history [including compensation and benefits]

While conducting background checks or running applicant credit checks is not prohibited, employers should use caution and ensure that they are not being used for discriminatory purposes and that are related to a business requirement.

In order to mitigate employment related claims, discuss hiring practices with your HR administrator and employment attorney. In California, Employment Liability Insurance (EPLI) policies exclude wage and hours claims; however, some carriers do provide a defense sublimit coverage.

Let us know if you have any questions regarding EPLI or would like us to provide a quote. We are here to help.