As we talked about in our last blog post, age discrimination can be a problem for people who are seeking employment. Older people may not be considered for positions simply because of their age, even if they have the skills and experience to fulfill the requirements of the job.
To continue this conversation, we're going to peel away from the age discrimination aspect, and instead just talk about the hiring process in general: and how any applicant has rights during the process. In addition, the potential employer has many obligations that it must fulfill during the hiring process, otherwise it risks being held liable for its failings.
Obviously, companies are not allowed to discriminate against applicants for a job opening -- though that doesn't mean certain companies won't try. However, there are certain jobs that have a BFOQ -- a "bona fide occupational qualification" -- which means that the trait in question is necessary to the job on offer.
But there are other ways in which an employer may botch the hiring process. For example, during interviews, the company is not allowed to ask certain questions of the applicant, such as if they intend to have kids or wants kids.
In addition, once the company choose an individual to fill the job opening, they have to obey rules and regulations for obtaining the requisite information to bring that person on as an employee. Failing to do so can result in liability on the company's part. The company also can't promise something they can't fulfill. This is called an "implied contract" when they offer something to a candidate. If they don't fulfill the "implied contract," they would be in breach and could be held liable.
Source: FindLaw, "Legal Rights During the Hiring Process," Accessed Oct. 1, 2015