Hire the Best and Keep Them Safe: Don't Let Bias Hiring and Failure to Follow OSHA Regulations Hit Your Bottom Line

Anti-bias training is a focus in workplaces right now, especially as workers return to the office. This is no different in the staffing industry. The Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission has filed 10 actions against staffing firms in the last fiscal year, specifically for situations where the staffing firm complied with client requests to provide only certain types of workers for jobs. Even though the client is making the request, the staffing firm can be held liable under the joint employer relationship, if it complied with the request. Staffing firms should expect to be on EEOC’s list of enforcement priorities going forward.

Implicit-bias is defined as having unconscious, prejudiced thoughts, or feelings about specific groups, meaning that the person may have no idea they’re doing it and does not necessarily intend any malice. Implicit-bias isn’t limited to gender, race, ethnicity or sexual-orientation, it can also manifest in assumptions about socioeconomic status, family structures, age, and physical appearance. These attributes may trigger implicit-bias in the hiring process by associating these attributes with certain behavior, education, or abilities. For example, a hiring manager may not put much stock in a degree from an historically, black college or university or a community college, despite an applicant having more than the required experience, older employees or Hispanic employees may be passed over as not being fit for the “company culture.” Some hiring managers may even hire someone because they agree with everything during an interview (no push-back) or share common interests/hobbies.

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