Unintended Consequences Of Equal Employment Opportunity: Unequal Parties In The Selection Process?

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John N. Orife
Maali H. Ashamalla
Frederick J. Slack

Keywords

Equality In Employment Regulations, Equal Employment Opportunity, Illegal Discrimination In Employment

Abstract

There arevarious regulations that are intended to promote equal employment opportunityand avoid illegal discrimination in the employment process. These regulationsdetermine what information employers may seek, and require that informationsought be job-related or it is illegal to seek such information as age, maritalstatus, or religion. Information that is not a bona fide occupationalqualification (BFOQ) is usually out of bounds as employers gather informationto determine the suitability of applicants for employment. Since one of thebedrock laws affecting the employment relationship is the at will doctrinethat assumes both employer and applicant come together as equal partners in theformation of the employment contract, this paper raises the issues aboutwhether such regulations unintentionally leave the employer at an informationdisadvantage by negating the concept of equality assumed by the at willdoctrine. Some suggestions for practical ways of reducing the identifiedemployer information disadvantages are provided.

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