How to Avoid Unconscious Discrimination When Hiring for Your Restaurant

  • Hiring is one aspect of your business where more information may not always be better.

  • Choose your words wisely when writing up job descriptions and qualifications to avoid Discrimination charges.

Lexington Wolff is a restaurant employment lawyer with a story. After representing a number of restaurants in employee lawsuits, she began to see a pattern. Many of the lawsuits could have been easily avoided had the restaurant just been better informed about their obligations.

But as Lexi says, once you’re in a penny, you’re in a pound. Basically, it won’t matter whether or not your practices are legal. If your employees feel slighted or misunderstand a policy, they may take you to court which is costly whether or not you are at fault.

On this episode of the Barron Report, Paul and Lexi break down the hiring process and everything you need to know about how to approach candidates.

For example, have you reviewed the wording on your job postings recently? Misused language can discriminate against certain races or handicaps. Social media background checks might get you in trouble. Even asking about drug use could get you in trouble if you violate HIPAA laws.

To learn how you should legally be running your restaurant hiring practices, listen in to this episode of The Barron Report. Tune into our last episode with Lexi for more about tip laws and pay practices. And remember, these podcasts do not constitute legal advice. For individualized advice, consult your lawyer.

Show Notes

  • 0:51 - Lexington Wolff, Restaurant Employment Lawyer

  • 2:41 - Your Greatest Risk in the Hiring Process

  • 5:03 - Job Descriptions: Choose Your Words Wisely

  • 6:27 - Qualifications VS Preferences

  • 11:51 - Job Applications Should Not Elicit Protected Information

  • 12:22 - Ban the Box

  • 17:58 - How to Legally Interview

  • 19:08 - Asking About Sexual Harassment History

  • 21:10 - DIY and Third-Party Background Checks

  • 25:36 - Drug Use and HIPAA Laws

DISCLAIMER: This podcast does not constitute legal advice. For individualized advice, seek a lawyer's services.

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The Trump administration has made no bones about its crackdown on illegal immigration. Earlier this year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents swept into ninety-eight 7-Eleven stores across the country and demanded proof of employees’ eligibility to work in the United States. The sweep was part of the administration’s efforts to curb illegal immigration by targeting employers, and the message was clear: “Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration, and we are working hard to remove this magnet,” said Thomas D. Homan, Acting Director of ICE. “If you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable.”

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While building the spirits list and managing the bar program at Coltivare, Morgan's interest in bourbon continued to grow. Once he ran out of room for bourbon on the back bar at Coltivare, the idea for Eight Row Flint, aptly named after the variety of corn first used in American whiskey, was born. Eight Row Flint was named one of the best new bars in the country by Playboy in 2016.

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"Do you want a piece of paper or do you want peace of mind?" says A.J. "I recently had a client come to me and they're looking at acquiring another restaurant location and the other location said 'Oh, we've got all our documents. We're completely legal setup, everything.' And they very proudly brought out this corporate kit binder that they ordered online."

Needless to say, that story doesn't end well. Listen to this episode and follow along with the show notes below to learn how you can avoid major snafus like this one with just a few important steps. And if you find yourself needing some help funding your concept, turn to our friends over at Kabbage. They can help you prep your business and manage those new business expenses.

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