HR Base Camp Roundup – November 2nd, 2022

In this week’s edition of the HR Base Camp roundup, we have a VERY important question about whether you can rescind a job offer to an applicant who’s just informed you that they’re pregnant, and we also discuss options for paying an employee that doesn’t have a traditional bank account. Come take a look!

Here are the HR Q&As from our HR Base Camp Facebook Group and HR Solution Center:


After giving a job applicant an offer letter, she informs you that’s she pregnant. What are your options at that point? Can you rescind the job offer?

After countless interviews, we finally found a wonderful applicant that is perfect for the position we are filling. After giving her an offer letter, she informed us that she’s pregnant. Now, I’m hesitant to offer the job because we’re already short staffed and training someone for a few months only to have them go on leave seems like it would make things even harder. Can I rescind the offer?

This would be extremely risky since the reason for rescinding is her pregnancy. Federal law prohibits discrimination against pregnant employees as well as applicants. Rescinding a job offer right after you find out that she’s pregnant is a slam-dunk pregnancy discrimination case.

We sometimes hear from employers that they feel like an applicant did something wrong by not disclosing their pregnancy during the hiring process. It’s critical to keep in mind that an applicant isn’t required to disclose that they’re pregnant or expecting to become pregnant soon, just as an applicant isn’t required to disclose that they have any type of medical condition.

It’s also better that you did not know that she was pregnant when making your hiring decision, as legally you aren’t able to consider it. You should be selecting the best person for the job. If you learn later that they need an accommodation or a leave of absence, your first step should be to review what your employee handbook says about those topics (assuming you have a handbook from CEDR that has been customized based on your size, industry, and location).

Unless there is a justifiable reason unrelated to her pregnancy for rescinding her job offer, it’s in your best interest to continue with the hiring process and address her pregnancy as you would with any other employee.

On rare occasions there may even be a justifiable reason – they can’t start when you need them to, they can’t work the required schedule, their background check comes back with showing a history of embezzlement, and other such factors that would influence any hiring decision.

All that said, we do admit that we’ve seen pregnancy be a reason not to hire someone. But don’t get your hopes up – it’s pretty specific and actually just goes right back to having a legitimate business reason not to hire her. The business was looking for someone to cover another employee’s absence while they were on medical leave. The timing of when an applicant would most likely be going on maternity leave coincided with the period of time when they needed temporary help.

So this applicant wasn’t offered a position, as their availability (due to pregnancy) made them unable to meet the specific work schedule required of the temporary position.


How can I pay an employee when they don’t have a bank account?

Our new employee doesn’t have a bank account. What are our options to pay them?

This question is interesting because it doesn’t come up very often in the industries that we work with, but it’s something that employers should know the answer to in case they ever find themselves in this situation. Even though direct deposit is the standard these days, there’s still a variety of reasons why someone might not have a bank account.

If you can’t provide a paycheck via direct deposit, you can still provide the employee with a physical check that they can cash themselves. There are other options as well, but the options available to you depend on your state laws.

Some states have restrictions on what kind of payment methods you can use, and in many cases requiring you to offer an alternative to direct deposit. We advise that whatever alternative method of payment you choose has a paper trail. Cash may seem like an easy option, but it’s much harder to keep track of to make sure everything is in compliance.


At CEDR, we help employers protect their businesses and build stronger teams. Because stronger teams build better workplaces, and better workplaces make better lives.

Have an HR question you need to talk through with an HR expert? Reach out to the Solution Center for expert guidance, or get your questions answered in our private, professional Facebook Group, HR Base Camp.

Nov 2, 2022

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.
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