The impact of discrimination legislation on recruitment & selection processes

Updated April 17, 2017

Discrimination legislation has made a significant impact on employment recruitment and selection processes. Employers must abide by applicable anti-discrimination laws to avoid possible civil or criminal charges.


Anti-discrimination legislation has levelled the playing field in recruitment and selection of job applicants. Because it is unlawful to discriminate against an applicant, employment recruitment and selection can only be based on a potential candidate's ability to perform assigned tasks, level of experience and quality of skills with no regard to disability or other distinguishing characteristics.


Over the years, there have been several types of legislation passed to protect against discrimination in the workplace. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and subsequent amendments have prohibited discrimination in all hiring practices, including recruitment and selection. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers cannot discriminate against a potential candidate on the basis of race, colour, religion, national origin, or sex.


Anti-discrimination legislation requires employers to make adjustments to support applicants with disabilities. According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with physical or mental limitations. For example, pre-employment testing facilities must be wheelchair-accessible or accommodations should be made to support an applicant in a wheelchair.

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