When Employment Applications Go Bad


Starbucks narrowly missed losing another employment-related lawsuit – this time, about their employment application.

A California State Court of Appeal overturned a decision that would have made Starbucks liable for $26 million because of an improper employment application.

In California, it’s permissable to ask if a candidate has previous criminal convictions – except for minor offenses, such as possession of marijuana. The Starbucks application made no such provision.

An excellent summary of the case is written by Richard S. Rosenberg of Ballard, Rosenberg, Golper & Savitt here.

What is of bigger concern is what application form most businesses are using. One of the first things we review during our HR Compliance Audit is the employment application. Small businesses often use applications from their local office supply company.

Big mistake.

Each state has different criteria, and the employment application needs to be state-specific and legally reviewed.

Time to check your employment application!

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