We would like our applicants to work in the real environment for a couple of hours to see how they perform and fit in with the existing team. Is this legal?

This is a violation of several laws – both state and federal. This policy violates minimum wage laws by requiring work without pay. Even if you pay the applicants there are other major problems. Applicants are not covered under workers comp policies but in case of an injury you would still be liable – without insurance coverage. To cover a person under insurance an I-9 new-hire form is required but you cannot require applicants to fill these forms.

Beside the legal and liability problems, this policy is unfair to the applicants by putting them into a work situation with no training. An hour or two is not a good indication of a person’s performance. It would be more effective to let a poor performing employee go.


Hope that helps you out. =)



A note about HR laws:
Laws concerning employee treatment, benefits, hiring and firing…etc are multi-level. What this means is that there are Federal laws, state laws and sometimes local regulations that have jurisdiction over an employee. The information presented here should not be considered legal advice. Ultimately, employers with serious legal questions should consult local attorneys with expertise in worker relations.
The questions and answers presented here are based on research and data from internet sources and should not be considered the final word.

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