Did you know that using the wrong words in your help wanted ad can land a company in legal trouble. Any job requirement that discriminates against applicants based on a personal characteristic protected by law violates federal law. Most managers know that ads cannot state obvious, protected topics, but managers and business owners can get into trouble for posting help wanted ads with more subtle discrimination without intending to do so.
Words a subtle as “salesman”, “handyman”, or “waiter” may imply that you are only looking for males to fill the job position. When creating your hiring advertisement, be sure to focus on essential requirements of the job and pay attention to different ways your words can be interpreted.
For example, putting “must be able to lift 50 lbs.” in your advertisement may give the impression that one must do this on a regular basis. If lifting is only required on occasion, remove this statement. It may give the impression that lifting heavier objects is a regular duty and thus precludes many women from applying.