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Are your job postings discriminative?

Feb 13, 2023 | Employment litigation

You should be strategic when writing job advertisements. A posting should include all the relevant information about the position and the company to help applicants make informed decisions. 

However, your ads may portray you as a discriminative employer. Here are factors that may make them discriminatory. 


The language you use in a job posting should include all applicants. Words like tech-savvy, fresh-minded and energetic may exclude older applicants. Further, stating 10 years’ experience may discourage younger people with the needed skills from applying. If a position does not need an applicant to be over a certain age, it will be best to avoid age-related words in your postings.


Absent an occupation need, you should avoid expressing a preference for gender in your job postings. Keep all language gender-neutral. For example, instead of firemen, use firefighter, a policeman to a police officer or a salesman to a salesperson.

National origin

Stating national origin in your job ads may be considered discriminatory. It may not be right to determine employment eligibility on citizenship or immigration status. 


Words like carry, lift, climb, bend, walk or stand may potentially discriminate against applicants with disabilities. It will help to describe the tasks without such words. Besides, you may use ‘occasional’ in your job descriptions. For example, instead of climbing ladders, you can say occasionally ascends or descends ladders.


A job posting should not mention religion unless it’s integral for a position, such as a chaplain. Words that oppose a particular religion’s dress code may also be discriminative.

Your job postings are crucial. Being accused of being discriminative during hiring may lead to a bad reputation for your business and potential lawsuits. It will help to get professional guidance to ensure your ads are inclusive before posting them.