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For Employers

Does the law require employers to provide reasons for not hiring candidates for employment?

Can employers administer drug and alcohol tests to their employees?

As an owner of a small business, do I have to verify the citizenship of all of my employees?

Can companies monitor the internet usage of their employees?

After firing an employee, what may an employer tell other potential employers concerning the reasons for termination and employee's character?





Q: Does the law require employers to provide reasons for not hiring candidates for employment?

In most cases, an employer does not have to give reasons for not hiring an individual. It is, however, a wise business practice to keep a record of all interviewed candidates and your reasons for not hiring them. If in the future you are accused of illegal discrimination in hiring, you can use these records to recall the reasons and defend your company against the claim.


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Q: Can employers administer drug and alcohol tests to their employees?

Each state has laws which vary drastically concerning alcohol and drug testing in the workplace. Depending on the occupation in question, including some transportation jobs, federal law may also play a role in whether and how often employees should be tested. If you are considering drug or alcohol testing for your employees, it is crucial that you consult an experience employment lawyer who can explore your options with you, reviewing state and federal regulations.


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Q: As an owner of a small business, do I have to verify the citizenship of all of my employees?

Yes, the Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that all U.S. employers verify the identity and eligibility of all workers, whether they are American citizens or not, by completing the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9.  In order to complete the I-9 form, the employer must review particular documents for proof of legal work eligibility. An employer must retain these forms for all employees either for three years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later.


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Q: Can companies monitor the internet usage of their employees?

The courts have ruled that employees have few privacy rights when using their employers’ computer systems. All websites visited by workers may be tracked and non-work related sites may be blocked. All employers should have an acceptable use policy which outlines internet use in the workplace and any sites which may not be visited. If an employee knowingly violates this policy, he or she may be disciplined accordingly.


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Q: After firing an employee, what may an employer tell other potential employers concerning the reasons for termination and employee's character?

In most cases, the employer may tell potential employers the real reasons for the termination. As long as the information provided by the employer is true and based on a thorough investigation, they are generally protected by qualified privilege. If untruthful statements are made concerning the employee and the employer has no credible grounds for these accusations, they may be sued for defamation. To avoid suits, many employers refuse to release any information concerning past or present employees. Others require that all individuals seeking a reference sign a release giving the employer the right to discuss any good or bad feedback; these releases protect the employer from any claim which may arise from the dissemination of this information. 


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