Can a person who has a personal relationship be part of a hiring panel with one of the potential candidates applying for the position?

Asked on December 6, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes they can. This is true even if this results in your not being treated fairly. The fact is that preferential treatment is only illegal if it is due to someone's being a member of a "protected class". In other words, was that person unfavorably treated because of their race, religion, age (over 40), gender, sexual orientation, nationality or disability? If not, then they have no legal claim.
The fact is that most employers can set the terms and conditions of employment much as they see fit or deem necessary. So unless actionable discrimination is a factor in your treatment or your employer's action breaches the terms of a union agreement or comapny policy, it is perfectly legal.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Under the law, yes: the law does not in any way restrict hiring (or any employment decisions) based on any personal, romantic, or famil relationships. It may be against a company's internal policies, but that the law does not enforce those policies--it's up to the company to do so.

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