W-Z Video: Questions about Interview Laws and Policies

Three different questions have come up recently in our seminars related to interviewing: confidentiality, interviewing juveniles or minors, and recording the conversation. Here is the WZ point of view on these subjects.

When we talk about confidentiality, the National Labor Relations Board has a ruling on this versus Banner Health Systems from a few years ago addressing the issue of is if you’re allowed to tell your employee that they have to keep that interview confidential or not. I would challenge you to go back to your legal counsel or your HR partners to understand how they want you to apply that law when it comes to your situation. Every organization is a little bit different and every case might be different. This is something you want to make sure that you have a consistent process or policy as a company on how to handle it.

Secondly, interviewing juveniles or minors. There’s a lot of discussion in our seminars as to what should happen if we interview somebody who might be 16 or 17 years old. Now, state by state, there might be different legal requirements on when or if at all parents have to be contacted. However, I would go back again to your company to make sure that you have a policy or some type of guidance that’s consistent across the organization that protects your company from liability, errs on the side of protecting the employee themselves, and also fits within your company culture. Each company may have a different application of these rules, but it’s important that you have consistency across the organization.

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And lastly, recording the interview. At WZ, we’ve been recording interviews since 1982. It’s important to understand that every state has different consent laws when it comes to recording a conversation. So you want to make sure that you’re in compliance with the state that you operate in as well as obviously your company policy. But more often, the question that has come up is what if the employee themselves wants to record the interview? This is one that I would challenge you to go back to your supervisors, to your legal partners, and ask them how to handle that question. Again, every company is different. Every case might be different, so it’s important that you’re consistent across the board, and you feel comfortable that you’re giving the same direction that your company would want you to give.

I hope these three points trigger some thoughts in your head and initiate some conversations at your organization to make sure we’re doing things all within the right legal framework and within your company cultures. Thanks for tuning in and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

This interviewing tip is provided by the International Association of Interviewers.

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