Four agencies involved in overseeing and enforcing employment
protections, including protections against bias in hiring,
have issued joint guidance on who is considered a job
applicant for those purposes.
The Labor and Justice departments and the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission and Office of Personnel Management
said in the guidance that the growth of online job searching
and resume placing has raised questions regarding which
individuals are to be deemed formal applicants. The issue
is potentially an important one for federal managers and
human resources offices whose performance in hiring
minorities and women often is tracked statistically and is
vulnerable to formal complaints of discrimination.
According to the guidance, for someone to be considered an
“applicant” in the context of online job searching, the
employer must have acted to fill a particular position,
the individual must have followed the employer’s standard
procedures for submitting applications, and the individual
must have indicated an interest in a particular position.