Ann Knuckles Mahoney, Associate in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Nashville office, was quoted in Law360 Employment Authority, in “COVID-19 Tumult Softens Employers' Stance on Resume Gaps,” by Anne Cullen. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

A gap in a job applicant's work history used to set off alarms for prospective employers, but experts say that's changing in light of the widespread workplace disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. …

Address Staff Shortages ...

In an effort to reinforce their teams amid a tight labor market, companies would be wise to overlook resume gaps and focus on other elements of a candidate's application, employment attorneys said.

"Employers are having to be really practical about who they're considering given the labor shortage right now," said Epstein Becker Green attorney Ann Knuckles Mahoney. "It would be unfortunate for their business, not a good business practice, to be completely discounting people based on their resume gap." ...

Tamp Down Bias Liability

While it's not illegal under federal anti-discrimination law to reject an applicant because they took time away from the workforce, experts said hiring managers could still find themselves on shaky legal ground by digging too deep into the reasons for a job candidate's career break.

"It's a double-edged sword asking about these resume gaps," Knuckles Mahoney said. "Because of course you want to find out more and see if they still retained the skills that they would need to do the job, but at the same time, you really have to be careful of running into discrimination issues."

Capitalize on Untapped Potential ...

"Employers never really know what the reasoning is behind the resume gap when they first see it," Knuckles Mahoney said. "Closing that door off would be disadvantageous to employers."

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.