Thursday, August 28, 2014

Do You Know Employment Law?

You're a resume writer, not a lawyer. But having a basic grasp of employment law is useful, because it not only informs the resumes you write, but it can help you position your clients appropriately when they have "special" situations.

For example, my clients have included:

  • A woman who was two months pregnant and job searching -- and wondering if she should tell her employers she was expecting. (I directed her to information about the Pregnancy Discrimination Act)
  • A young woman looking for her first teaching job who had graduated from college two years ago, but was diagnosed with cancer just a month after completing school. (The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 prevents employers from asking medical questions in an interview, but I coached her to answer the question about the job gap in such a way that it would satisfy an employer that her health issues were resolved and she was ready to work!)
  • A young man from Nepal who was interested in working in the U.S. (I had to educate myself about H1-B visas!)
  • Numerous Army and Air Force veterans. Anytime you're working with a veteran, you should be aware of special consideration for veterans in hiring for federal agencies and government contractors)
  • My 16-year-old niece. Her current employer cited a provision in the Fair Labor Standards act that allows employers to pay employees under age 20 just $4.25 an hour for their first 90 calendar days of employment with the company, even though federal minimum wage is (currently) $7.25 an hour.

Having knowledge of federal employment laws especially is important for resume writers, and I've got a Pass-Along Materials package you can share with your clients on the topic:

It's also important to keep an eye on changes to employment law. For example, today I came across this article, "Quinn Signs Pregnancy Discrimination Measure" affecting pregnant women and new moms in Illinois.


Stay informed!




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