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Ask the HR Expert

Ask the HR Expert

By Heather Nezich, courtesy SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Question:  Can I require candidates to do a work test before hiring them?  I’d like to evaluate their job performance before making a hiring decision.

Answer:  This would be a working interview, which has the applicant performing work or attending a training during the selection process.  Employers should be very careful if they decide to utilize a working interview. If the applicant is not paid for this time, it may violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  A dental practice located in Nashville, Tennessee required its candidates to perform work in order to assess their skills during the interviewing process. The dental practice was found to have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for not paying for what the Wage and Hour Division clearly saw was hours worked under the law.

At the end of the day, the dental practice payed out $50,000 in back pay and liquidated damages.
 

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