Lawful & Ethical Hiring Practices for FECs

As a Family Entertainment Center (FEC) employer, you wear many hats. It’s your role to supervise, mentor, and lead your team to success, offering customers a fun, safe, and family-friendly experience. Not to mention, it’s your responsibility to recruit and hire new employees, both full-time and seasonal. This is a crucial component of ensuring the long-term growth and development of your FEC. How you go about hiring reflects your company’s values and standards. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a legal and ethical hiring process for your FEC business. Here are three key areas to think about when hiring.

Recruiting & Applications

Maintaining a legal hiring process starts at the very beginning with recruiting and application methods. Here are a few things to think about.

  • Applications should define all job duties and responsibilities clearly, listed from general to specific. If your FEC hires both full-time and seasonal employees, ensure that your applicants have a clear understanding of which position they’re applying for.
  • State job qualifications and pre-requisites in an objective, straight-forward manner.
  • Do not write job postings that sound as if they are offering or guaranteeing employment.
  • Your hiring practices must comply with anti-discrimination laws. Do not use language suggesting a preference for a particular age, race, gender, etc. Avoid phrases such as, “We’re looking for a young, energetic team player.” This phrase suggests an age preference. Rather, use phrases like, “We’re looking for a hard-working team player.”
  • In general, when hiring employees under the age of 18, make sure their job responsibilities and hourly expectations comply with federal child labor and safety laws.

A good rule of thumb is to have your company’s job application forms reviewed by a lawyer or human resources every two years to ensure everything remains in order.

Background Checks

If you plan to run a background check on applicants, there are a handful of laws you must follow.

  • Be sure to follow all requirements established under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCA) and any State specific laws that apply to background checks.
  • Applicants must sign a written approval prior to running a background check. This gives you, as the employer, consent to access candidate information. Be up front with your applicants regarding how you intend to use this information.
  • Keep in mind, it is illegal to use arrest records against someone in the hiring process, as they do not represent proof of guilt.


Interviews are the most frequently used tool for selecting the best qualified candidates for a job. As an employer, you need to think critically about your interview procedure. What are the do’s and don’t’s of a legal and effective interview?

  • If possible, have more than one person interview each candidate. The more perspectives, the fairer the outcome.
  • Do not make any promises or guarantees in regard to the job or future employment. For example, avoid comments such as, “As long as you do well, you’ll always have a position with our company.” While there is not a law against saying these things, by avoiding them, you are protecting yourself from potential conflict in the future.
  • Keep notes on a piece of paper separate from the job application or resume. Notes should never indicate an applicant’s age, race, gender, etc. This behavior is discriminatory and often times illegal.

Interviews are a crucial part of the hiring process. This is your opportunity as an employer to really get to know your applicants and assess their capabilities and potential. The most important thing you can do here is ensure that candidates have a clear understanding of job duties and expectations, to start off on the right foot and avoid potential legal issues in the future.

Let’s Get in Touch

Maintaining a legal hiring process is critical for protecting applicants and retaining your integrity as an FEC and small business owner. For more guidance regarding legal and ethical hiring practices, contact Lonzo Law. Whether you’re just starting out, growing your business, or managing the day-to-day, we will meet you where you’re at and provide counsel based on your specific needs. Call us at (727)-537-0209 or contact us online.

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