HR Management & Compliance

Hiring: 10-Point Employment Ad Checklist to Help Avoid Bias Lawsuits

Most employers know they can wind up with a bias lawsuit on their hands if they’re not careful about the language they use when placing a help-wanted ad in the newspaper or online. Here’s a quick checklist you can use to evaluate your ad to help ensure it won’t be a ticking time bomb. A “no” answer to any of the questions indicates that you should rethink the ad before placing it.

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  1. Is the ad based on an updated job description?


  2. Have you already posted the job internally?


  3. Does the ad include a statement that “We are an equal opportunity employer”?


  4. Does the ad avoid any language that might indicate a preference for applicants of a certain age, race, national origin, or gender?


  5. Does the ad avoid any language that might discourage someone from applying because of their marital status or plans to get pregnant?


  6. Does the ad describe only skill requirements that are essential to the job description?


  7. Does the ad focus on describing the demands of the job, rather than the type of person you’re looking for?


  8. Does the ad use gender-neutral terms like “server” instead of “waiter” or “waitress”?


  9. Does the ad accurately state how much experience the candidate must have in order to perform the job successfully?


  10. If the ad includes a photo of people who work for your company, does it give the impression that you employ a diverse workforce?


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