What degree of diligence is appropriate with regard to testing or investigating an applicant’s background and credentials?
What documentation of the hiring decision and/or employment relationship is required or may be useful later?
Are there particular legal pitfalls that must be avoided?
When hiring, it is important to select the best qualified candidate. Proper screening
can assist with the determination of which applicant is the best qualified. Permissible
screening of candidates, with some specific and appropriate limitations depending on the
position being filled, may include a medical examination, drug testing, and background and
Applications and Interviewing
In Massachusetts, all applications for employment must contain a statement that it is
illegal to administer a lie detector test. Mass. Gen. L. c. 149, §19B(2)(b). If an application
has a section to record the applicant’s work history, then it must also notify the applicant that
verifiable work performed on a volunteer basis may be recorded. In Massachusetts,
employers are limited in the information regarding criminal records that may be requested
from an applicant. Mass. Gen. L. c. 151B, §4(9). See Part I, Section 1.2(L) above.
Before an applicant is granted an interview, the employer should determine that the
applicant, on the face of her application, meets the minimum requirements established for the
position. If the information given by the applicant on the face of the application does not
meet the advertised/posted minimum requirements the employer need not interview the
applicant. Once an interview is granted, then the interviewer should interview the candidate
for the position being filled.