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Getting Hired: Legal Do's and Don'ts

What does the law have to do with getting hired? Probably more than you may think. Your future employer is subject to legal restrictions that affect what the company's employment advertisement can and can't say, what the employer is allowed to ask you in the interview, and what kind of pre-employment testing can be required. Some laws also affect how you conduct yourself in the job-hunting process. Following are a few simple "DOs and DON'Ts" to help you get your foot in the door.

Getting Hired: Legal Do's 

DO confirm that you have good personal and professional references who will be available to talk to your new employer and give you a positive recommendation.

DO give your consent to a background check.  Employers have the right to make sure the people they hire do not have a history of felony convictions.

DO provide the employer with proof of your U.S. citizenship and residency, or right-to- work information (your "green card").

DO give your consent to a routine pre-employment drug screening.

DO ask about safety programs, and whether you will be provided personal safety equipment.  The employer is required to comply with workplace health and safety laws, and in some jobs that means providing protective equipment.

DO get the job offer in writing, and make sure it includes all the provisions you spoke about with the employer -- salary, benefits, job description, start date, and grounds for termination.

Getting Hired: Legal Don'ts

DON'T assume you can dress however you want to at the job interview, or even after you are hired.  Companies are allowed to impose a reasonable dress code, and you'll give a good impression if you are dressed appropriately to begin with.

DON'T feel obligated to answer personal questions such as whether you are married, if you have children or are planning to have children, or what your religious or political beliefs are. Employment anti-discrimination laws prohibit such questions.

DON'T lie on your resume or employment application.

If you have additional questions regarding the legal "do's" and "don'ts" of getting hired, consider speaking with an employment attorney.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified employment attorney to make sure
your rights are protected.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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