How to Avoid Discrimination in Your Job Postings

To attract the best and most qualified candidates, you’re going to want to write a detailed job description and post it on a variety of job boards and websites. As you craft the language in your job descriptions and advertising, keep referring back to the EEOC laws to make sure you aren’t showing a preference for or against a person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or genetic information.
For example, if your ad suggests a preference for “recent college graduates,” you may be accused of age discrimination. Or, if your copy states, “Men wanted for construction work,” you could be in violation of sex discrimination laws.
The same rules apply for general recruitment efforts. For example, if an employer relies exclusively on word-of-mouth recruitment within a specific ethnic group, and it results in new hires primarily from the same ethnic group, that may violate the law.

Game Plan

  • When writing your job description or ad, list the job duties, responsibilities, and qualifications in an objective manner. Avoid any language that suggests a preference for any of the EEOC discrimination categories. Stating that you are, “Looking for a hard-working, qualified individual” is acceptable, while stating something like, “Looking for a young woman with lots of energy” is not.
  • State in your ad that you are an Equal Opportunity Employer, and that nothing in the job posting guarantees employment. Some sample anti-discrimination verbiage can be found on this page.
  • If you are unsure about the legal wording in your job description, run it by your attorney.
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