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How Hiring Works


Glossary

Americans with Disabilities Act
As it relates to hiring, the ADA requires that employers not discriminate against job applicants based on their disabilities. It states that employers may not refuse to hire an otherwise qualified applicant who has a disability, as long as the individual can perform the "essential functions" of the job "with or without reasonable accommodation." This law applies to businesses that employ at least 15 people. For additional information, about the ADA, see our Links section.

Employment At Will
Every state except Montana has an Employment-at-Will doctrine that means an employer can fire an employee for any reason at any time. It also mean the employee can quit for any reason at any time. The exceptions to this are when there is a public policy that prevents it, or when there is a whistleblower statute that protects employees who report unsafe or illegal activities by their employers. If the termination by the employer is based on any discriminatory fact then it is not protected under the at-will doctrine.

Exempt
Employees classified as "exempt" are typically salaried employees (but don't have to be), and fall into specific types of jobs such as executives, administrative professionals, or outside salespersons. These employees are not eligible for overtime pay, but do have to be paid at least the minimum wage (figured on an average weekly basis.) There are also exempt classifications for jobs that are seasonal such as employees of amusement parks, the fishing and agriculture industries, casual employees such as babysitters and other caregivers, and others. The law varies with each group, so check with state and federal requirements when classifying employees as exempt and non-exempt.

Negligent Hiring
The legal liability a company has for failure to sufficiently screen an applicant's background. This applies primarily for positions that have exposure to, and interaction with, the public that can result in public injury, etc.

Non-Exempt
An employee classified as "non-exempt" typically works for hourly pay and is entitled to at least the minimum wage (figured on an average weekly basis), overtime pay at one and one half times their normal hourly rate for any hours over 40 hours per week, and other protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) including child labor laws and equal pay protection. The law varies with each group, so check with state and federal requirements when classifying employees as exempt and non-exempt.