Multilingual services of global legal translators and court interpreters are relevant in the practice of employment law. Some challenges are caused by the language and cultural differences. By the legal nature of job interviews, personality tests and other selection tools, there is an inherent tensional interplay between the employer’s right to information and the employee’s right to privacy. Which side the law favors depends on various factors and thus, each case should be viewed on its merits.
From the employer point of view, there is a clear right to information and, in some cases, a duty of investigation in order to protect oneself from a negligent hiring claim. This duty to investigate means that an employer must cast doubt and do checks on the information provided by an applicant – such as checking references and verifying qualifications. If the position involves an international post, then there is also a duty to get a foreign language translation of any necessary information. It is also good practice to tell the applicant that you will be checking their information.
On the other hand, an applicant is under a legal duty to cooperate in good faith and produce all necessary details of their professional and educational past. The key, however, is whether in their point of view the requested information is private or not. If they feel the information requested has nothing to do with the job and they do not want to divulge that information, then they are not required to. If the applicant feels that refusing to produce this information may negatively impact their application, then they may even have the right to provide false information. Essentially, all matters of hiring come down to the issue of relevance. Even areas typically regarded as private may be relevant in some cases – depending on the nature of the job.
Not sure whether to hire an interpreter or a translator? To learn about the differences between the members of two professions, read frequently asked questions about worldwide business translation services.