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  1. #1
    bancroft is offline Junior Member
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    What to do with unsolicited applications

    Missouri - I am a hiring manager for a non-profit organization and I was recently advised by our Human Resourses Department that it is illegal for them to maintain unsolicited applications and resumes on file. In other words, if a position is not posted and an application comes in, it is disposed of and not kept on hand. I was not told why it is illegal, simply that it had something to do with discriminatory practices. Have you heard of this? Thank you.
  2. #2
    seniorjudge Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by bancroft
    Missouri - I am a hiring manager for a non-profit organization and I was recently advised by our Human Resourses Department that it is illegal for them to maintain unsolicited applications and resumes on file. In other words, if a position is not posted and an application comes in, it is disposed of and not kept on hand. I was not told why it is illegal, simply that it had something to do with discriminatory practices. Have you heard of this? Thank you.
    Please have whoever it is in the HRD to cite you a statute that makes keeping unsolicited applications and resumes on file a crime.
  3. #3
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    I think they are misunderstanding slightly.

    My understanding is that it is not illegal, but it is also not required, and doing so can put you in line for some problems with anti-discriminatory practices.

    One of the problems with employment law is that there are some mutually exclusive laws out there. It's not impossible to violate one law by keeping another. A prime example is the EEO report that companies of over 100 are required to submit every year, in which you are required to report information that you are legally forbidden to keep recorded.

    If you found yourself under investigation by the EEOC or your state discrimination board, either because a complaint had been filed or because your name was drawn for random audit, one of the things they will be looking at is your hiring practices and whether or not minorities get a fair shot. To this end, they will look at the applications you have retained (you DO have to keep the ones that were for jobs that were posted). The fewer you have on hand, the fewer they can examine and potentially find problems with. So you don't want to keep anything you're not required to.

    An analogy would be the I-9 forms. Suppose you inherited the HR department from someone who did a poor job of getting correctly completed I-9s. Many of the employees have since left and you have no way of correcting them. Wouldn't you shred them as soon as it was legal to do so, so that in case of an audit no one would find the bad ones? It's the same idea. The less you have around, the less there is for any regulatory agency to find. Even if you've done a world-class job of keeping records, it's not impossible for mistakes to slip through since the laws are so contradictory.

    So the general rule of thumb is, if you don't need to keep it, don't.
  4. #4
    seniorjudge Guest
    "...A prime example is the EEO report that companies of over 100 are required to submit every year, in which you are required to report information that you are legally forbidden to keep recorded...."

    Typical government bureaucracy!

    Thanks for the helpful post!

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