A job interview can be a nerve-racking event. But when a prospective employer inquires outlawed interview questions, affairs can go from stressful to illegal. Federal and state laws disallow prospective employers from asking certain questions that are not associated to the job they are employing for. Questions about particular topics have been made illegal due to movements such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
While HR departments should be mindful of questions that are illegal to ask expected employees, some hiring managers/companies are not so up-to-date managers. Many illegal interview questions are simple for nearly anyone with primary social graces to avoid, but others might surprise you. Questions should be job-related and not used to find out private information. If they are not, even so, they can be the ground of a Labor and Employment lawsuit, whether the applicant is hired or not.
Employers should not be asking about your race, gender, religion, marital status, age, disabilities, ethnic background, country of origin, sexual preferences or age.
1: Where were you born?
This question might appear like tittle-tattle as you get to know a person, but it could also be used to accumulate information lawlessly about the applicant’s national lineage. Though it may look more applicable, an employer should also keep off asking, “Are you a U.S. citizen?” He can ask whether a candidate is licensed to work in the United States, but it is illegal to ask about citizenship. Answer the "intent" of the question. For example, if you are inquired whether you are a U.S. citizen answer that you are authorized to work in the U.S., which is a question the employer can ask you and which is suitable to answer.
2: What is your native language?
Again, this question could be used to ascertain national origin. An employer can ask whether the person knows a language if it is mandatory for the job. For instance, if job responsibilities include supporting French-speaking customers, it’s sightly to ask whether the candidate speaks French, but it is unlawful to ask an applicant about their native language.
3: Are you married?
This is another question that would seem ingenuous in most settings, but decidedly not in a job interview. This question is alarming for every single woman over thirty. It is an illegal question since you can’t single out on the basis of marital position, this question is off limits.
4: Do you have children?
This might sound like gabfest, too. This question is illegal, likewise, because it’s covered by a common prohibition about discrimination over parental status. Even if the applicant puts forward the fact that he or she does have children, an employer cannot beseech for additional information during the interview regarding children’s age and sex.
5: Do you plan to get pregnant?
This interview question is a definite no-no. In the past times, employers occasionally called for this question to weed out women who were expected to take a maternity leave. Today, it is illegal to question what a woman’s plans are for future motherhood.
6: How old are you?
A few companies try to avoid employing aged workers for a diversity of reasons, arraying from a fear of higher healthcare tolls and absences to a social prejudice in favor of youth. Now, hiring and firing on the basis of age is stringently illegal. They must not try to get the information by asking when the person graduated from college, either.
7: Do you observe Yom Kippur?
This is another innocently-appearing question that would seem to be hashing out travel around the holidays. An employer can’t discriminate on the basis of religion, so this question is illegal, as would be asking about Good Friday, Ramadan, or the Solstice. If an employer is concerned about the candidate’s availability, he could ask whether he or she can work on holidays and weekends, but not about particular religious ceremonies.
8: Do you have a disability or chronic illness?
This information is not supposed to be used as a element in hiring, so the questions are illegal. If the job will require some special physical tasks, such as installing cables in walls and ceilings, lifting heavy equipment and/or scaling tall buildings, an employer may ask whether the person could execute those tasks with reasonable adjustment. However, to ask about a specific health condition is illegal and must be avoided.
9: Are you in the National Guard?
Although some managers may find it troubled when employees leave for duty, it’s illegal to discriminate against someone because he or she belongs to the National Guard or a reserve unit.
10: Do you smoke or use alcohol?
Unless court ordained, an employer can’t single out on the basis of the use of a legitimate product when the employee is not on the premises and not on the job. Hence, it is also illegal to inquire about such extracurricular activities during an interview.
While an employer can no more discriminate against you for the color of your skin, they can if they don't like the color of your shoes. They can't chose candidates based on their religion, but it doesn't hurt if the employer knows your dad or thinks you have an attractive smile. An employer can discriminate to their heart's content, as long as they don't discriminate in certain protected areas.
If you sense you have been discriminated against by an employer during a job interview, labor union or employment agency when applying for a job or while on the job because of your race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability and were subject to illegal interview questions, whether you were hired for the job or not, you may contact a Lead Counsel Labor and Employment Attorney in your area today to learn more about your legal rights and you ma file a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Before you lodge a claim for discrimination, you might prefer to reckon that most discrimination is not intentional. In many instances, the interviewer may merely be unconscious of the law. Even though the interviewer may have asked an illegal question it doesn't inevitably mean that the purpose was to discriminate or that a crime has been committed.