Step One to Avoid Litigation - Hire Right
By John Mavros Attorney at Law, Partner, Fisher & Phillips, LLP | October 13, 2019
This article was co-authored by Lauren Stockunas, Associate, Fisher Phillips LLP
The number one trigger for litigation is a termination. Employers who can avoid high turnover and frequent terminations will significantly reduce their chance of being sued, in addition to reducing their unemployment tax rate. As such, reducing employment litigation exposure starts even before employment, it starts with the application and hiring process. Hiring qualified employees who are a good fit for your hotel's company culture is a tall but critical task. This article will explore some best hiring practices to help your hotel implement policies and procedures that will put the hotel in the best position to hire right.
Usually, the first contact a potential employee has with the hotel is via the application (and job posting). Applications serve as the first tool for evaluating candidates and serve as the first step in the employment relationship that can trigger a lawsuit. Accordingly, an employer should always require applicants to complete and submit a job application. Not only that, but employers should always ensure that the application is signed by the applicant. Without a signature attesting to the truth of the information submitted, there is no recourse if the information turns out to be false.
Further, employers must examine the application carefully to confirm that the applicant filled out the application completely. All too often, employees are hired when they did not even include their full home address or failed to list contact information for references. Be sure to also confirm why they left their prior jobs. Some who says that they were fired after they were "unfairly accused" by their prior employer should be evaluated critically.
Interviews are a critical step in the hiring process. There is only so much an employer can glean about an employee from a job application. However, conducting interviews can be a costly process because it takes a significant amount of time. One way to reduce costs is to pre-screen candidates with a shorter phone interview. A phone interview can be useful to assess the applicant's basic qualifications, motivations, and expectations for the position.