Can we keep a rejected candidate from reapplying for the same job over and over?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can we keep a rejected candidate from reapplying for the same job over and over?

We use iCIM’s as our ATS and sometimes a hiring manager rejects all the candidates who apply to a posting. The hiring manager reposts the position but

does not want to see the same applications. iCIM’s can be configured to block those rejected candidates From reapplying for that same job. HR told us that is

illegal. Is it illegal to block a recently rejected candidate from almost immediately applying again?

Asked on May 31, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Idaho


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not illegal to block a rejected candidate from re-applying. However, if the rejected candidate is a minority, he or she may believe, even if incorrectly, that the block is related to his or her ethnicity or color, not due to his or her previous application, and attempt to bring a discrimination claim. Or if there is an error in the implementation and it blocks the wrong person (e.g. another individual with the same or similar name) from applying and that person is a minority, that again might lead to a claim for employment discrimiantion. The risk of liability is not worth the gain--it is better to simply receive the application, quickly review it, note that who it came from, then reject again if there is (as presumably there is) a basis for it, rather than putting in some "automatic" block which could, under some circumstances, make it appear that you are discriminating by not even considering minority or other protected-category applicants.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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