Keeping LGBT candidates/employees personal information private

Posted September 29, 2015 by

A candidate’s gender identity and sexual orientation shouldn’t affect whether or not they obtain or retain a job. Employers should respect the rights of LGBT candidates and employees and should keep this information private. Employers need to establish policies for handling disclosure of employees’ personal information.

To help explore these issues, College Recruiter is hosting a College Recruiting Bootcamp on LGBT and other diversity hiring issues on Tuesday, September 29th at the Twilio headquarters in San Francisco. Join us.

Prior to that event, we’ll publish the opinions from a number of talent acquisition and recruiting leaders about why and how employers should diversify their workforces. Beth Zoller, Legal Editor for XpertHR, discusses keeping LGBT candidates and employees personal information private.

beth p. zoller

Beth Zoller, Legal Editor at XpertHR

“If an employer discovers that one of their candidates for employment is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, an employer should consider the following:

As with all private personnel matters, personal details about a job candidate’s or employee’s sexual orientation and gender identity are private. Candidates and employees are entitled to full confidentiality, to the greatest extent possible.

It is an individual’s decision whether or not to reveal his or her sexual orientation and gender identity to the employer. Disclosure of this should not be a requirement for employment, and an employer should not ask an individual about his or her sexual orientation or gender identity, whether during an interview or during the course of the employee’s employment. If a candidate or employee reveals information about his or her sexual orientation or gender identity to the employer, the recipient of the information should keep it confidential and should not reveal it to anyone without the individual’s consent.

To ensure that employees with information about an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity keep the information confidential, the employer should establish procedures on handling sensitive data and train employees who are likely to receive such information on these procedures.”

Bio: Beth P. Zoller is the legal editor for the discrimination, affirmative action, harassment, retaliation, employee privacy, and employee handbooks/work rules/employee conduct content in the employee management section of XpertHR. Prior to joining XpertHR, Beth practiced law for more than 10 years representing employers with respect to employment discrimination and harassment claims, contractual disputes, restrictive covenant issues, family and medical leave, wage and hour disputes and a variety of other employment-related claims.

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