Have a Policy for Making Exceptions to Your HR Policies!

Today’s post was prompted by a gem from our friend Eric B. Meyer of The Employer Handbook.  His post is here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dont-let-exceptions-your-work-rules-make-become-exception-eric-meyer


The employer in question (the Delaware River & Bay Authority) appears to have had a reasonable hiring procedure that it didn’t follow.  The lawsuit did follow. Sadly, this is a familiar refrain.


A great way for your company to prevent discriminatory hiring lawsuits is to invest the time to create and implement:


  1. 1.Written job descriptions that spell out the essential functions of each position. Taking the time to quantify the essential functions helps you be clear about why you are hiring someone in the first place. It also gives you the chance to make sure the job description contains only measureable, objective criteria.


  1. 2.A written hiring procedure. Your hiring process needs to be repeatable in order for it consistently to produce good (and lawful!) results. Write it down and fix it anytime you discover anything in it that is unclear.


  1. 3.A written policy spelling out the process for obtaining and documenting exceptions to the hiring procedure. This is not an area in which you want each hiring manager making things up on the spot!


  1. 4.Designating someone who is responsible for keeping track of the exceptions that are granted and staying alert for any appearances of discrimination in them. For example, it may be that female hiring managers seek and are granted exceptions at a higher rate than their percentage of the total hiring manager population. This could be completely innocent, but better to evaluate the process right away and make sure this is not a symptom of gender discrimination.


  1. 5.Regular training for all managers. This includes training on how to follow the hiring procedure as well as more comprehensive training on how to have a discrimination-free workplace.


This is a problem area that we in-house lawyers have seen and either (i) prevented or (ii) cleaned up after if we didn’t get the chance to prevent it.


Give us a call!  We’d love to help you.



Stuart Blake

Mobile – (949) 842-9379



Michael Oswald

Mobile – 208.914.3086







© 2017 InnovaCounsel

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