Is it necessary for a municipality to advertise a job opening before filling the position?
Although no state or federal law requires that available positions of
municipal employment be advertised, it is probably better practice to
do so. See League opinions Employees 240 and 271. Absent an advertising
requirement imposed by a local civil service ordinance enacted pursuant
to Wis. Stat. sec. 66.0509, or imposed as a condition to the receipt of
governmental grants for funding, a municipality need not advertise a
municipal job opening.
Even though a municipality is not required to solicit applications
for an available municipal position, municipalities should be aware that
state and federal law (i.e., Wisconsin's Fair Employment Law, Wis.
Stat. secs. 111.31 to 111.395, and the Americans With Disabilities Act,
42 U.S.C. secs. 12101 to 12213) prohibit discrimination in hiring on the
basis of things like age, race, creed, color, disability, marital
status, sex, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, arrest
record, conviction record or membership in the military. In view of the
desirability of providing equal employment opportunities, and to ensure
that the above factors are not improperly considered in hiring
decisions, it might be advisable for a municipality to develop a
procedure for soliciting applications which recognizes these goals and
prohibitions. Word-of-mouth advertising is not a very effective means of
providing equal employment opportunities and may in fact be illegal
where the employer has established an affirmative action program.