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Navigating Laws When Hiring For The Medical Field

Posted by Noel • January 21, 2022 (Last modified May 26, 2022) • 4 min read

Hiring for the medical field is difficult, and HR faces a wide array of challenges, including legal challenges. Every field has its own problems, but ignoring the legal issues can lead to discrimination disputes, obstacles, reputation problems, and more that can make hiring even more difficult. For most companies in the medical field, anyone involved in hiring will have to go through thorough training and prep before they are allowed to interview anyone.

It is important to know the legalities of hiring for the medical field and stay up-to-date on any changes.

Hiring is difficult and it requires a keen eye for details. With so much going on, it can be hard to focus on everything. Trakstar Hire simplifies the hiring process by helping post your open jobs across different boards, tracking applicants as they move through the process, and working with others when you are trying to find that perfect candidate. For more information, schedule a demo of Trakstar Hire today.

What Questions You Should (And Shouldn’t) Ask

When you are hiring someone in the United States, you have to be aware of hiring bias or prejudice. Your potential employee may provide information related to certain topics, but they are also allowed to conceal certain information. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has outlined the questions you aren’t allowed to ask when hiring for the medical field. These include questions surrounding:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • National Origin
  • Marital Status
  • Children
  • Military Status
  • Disabilities

Some of these conversations may come up naturally in the interview process, so you need to tread lightly. 

Pre-Employment Testing When Hiring For The Medical Field

Almost every position at a healthcare company requires drug and alcohol screening to ensure patient safety. Providing a safe working environment – and a safe care environment – needs to be at the forefront of your concerns.

Still, we know that medical professionals account for some of the highest numbers of addiction in the workforce. Every state has different laws outlining the legality of drug testing and how often you can do it. It is important to understand your state laws, though there are some broader, nation-wide laws when hiring for the medical field.

Drug and alcohol testing before hiring in the medical field is almost a given. You are allowed to question your applicants about illegal drug use currently or within the last six months. You can request blood or urine tests. One law to pay attention to is random drug testing: you need to be sure that your tests are truly random. Marijuana legalization has made testing more difficult, but it is still considered legal in most cases.

Medical testing is not typically legal in most states. This means that you are not allowed to ask about your applicant’s current or past medical conditions. If you do require a physical examination to ensure that a candidate is fit to perform the job, you need to ensure that you do the same tests for every employee carrying out that job. 

Vaccination status is a hot topic right now, and with good reason. Hospitals and all health centers are legally allowed to require employees to have up-to-date vaccinations for public health purposes, including the annual flu shot and COVID-19 vaccinations. Some of the other required vaccinations include measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, Hepatitis B, whooping cough, and chicken pox.

Background Checks When Hiring For The Medical Field

Performing background checks is a common part of the application and hiring process. It is perfectly acceptable to perform a background check to find out financial history, work history, education, and any criminal records that someone might have. You do have to get the applicant’s permission to look into these things, however. It is important to note that once you get this information, you cannot use it to discriminate against a specific applicant.

One thing that many applicants worry about is social media. They will clean up their social media accounts before applying for jobs. But what if they don’t? You can look at someone’s social media accounts, but you still need to follow all of the legalities outlined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If anything posted goes against your company’s conduct policies, you are allowed to use that information as a deciding factor in many cases. Once again, it is best to look up state and federal laws specific to the form of social media. This is a gray area and it can be easy to get called biased by applicants who feel they were turned down because of their social media presence.

Hiring For The Medical Field Can Be Difficult

Hiring for the medical field is difficult and it probably will always have specific struggles that other industries just don’t see. Luckily, there are some tools available that will make posting job openings, tracking applicants, and finding great talent easier. Trakstar Hire helps you find better clients in a shorter amount of time, making it possible to successfully interview a great client. 

For more information about Trakstar Hire – and the rest of the Trakstar Platform – you can request a demo today.

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