Reputation vs. Regulation

In the world of employment practices, we are sometimes so wrapped up in determining whether a regulation prohibits us from doing a thing that we forget to ask whether we should do it at all. For example, because California is an at-will state, a company can generally withdraw an offer of employment at any time. However, presenting a candidate with an offer and a start date will probably lead that person to cease looking for other opportunities. If that offer is revoked, you can imagine the frustration the candidate is going to feel when they have to play catch up in the job hunt, especially if they declined other offers because they had already accepted yours. That frustration may even cause the candidate to look into legal remedies on the basis of discrimination, if they belong to a protected class. At the very least, a negative experience usually leads someone to express their dissatisfaction to 26 others. That number is more likely to be higher when the experience directly affects someones livelihood though. Eventually, this bad mojo affects the company reputation so much that it becomes difficult to recruit top talent who are then more likely to work at the competition. Because websites like Glassdoor and social networking forums like LinkedIn have accelerated and amplified the effects of negative employee experiences, it's extremely important to carefully consider how your policies can impact your reputation even if they are lawful.

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