Even before you become an employee, you have legal rights as a job applicant under federal law. The law prohibits employers from discriminating against prospective employees based on age, race, pregnancy, gender, religion, national origin, or disability during the hiring process. Therefore, it is imperative for employers to avoid asking any questions during the interview process that might cover any of the aforementioned classes that are protected by federal law.
Below is a list of some of the questions that employers should avoid asking while interviewing prospective employees:
- Questions regarding whether or not an applicant has children or plans to have children
- Questions regarding an applicant’s marital status
- Questions regarding an applicant’s religion
- Questions regarding an applicant’s sexual orientation
- Questions regarding an applicant’s age, unless the employer is determining if the applicant is over the age of 18
- Questions regarding the applicant’s citizenship status
- Questions regarding any disabilities the applicant suffers from
- Questions regarding alcohol and drug use
If an employer brings up any of the aforementioned topics during the interview process and makes hiring decisions based on your answers, you might have a viable discrimination case on your hands and should reach out to an employment law attorney to discuss your case. Even if you brought up any of this information during the interview or the information is apparent, an employer is still prohibited from making hiring decisions based on these grounds.
For example, if the individual who is interviewing you asks how to correctly pronounce your surname and you answer, voluntarily explaining your ethnic background, the interviewer cannot use that information when the time comes to decide whether or not to hire you.
What Should You Do Next?
If an interviewer asks a discriminatory question, you will have to think fast and on the spot. You could respond to such a question by asking if it is appropriate to ask for that information during a job interview, which should be enough to move the interview along. However, if you answer the question and the employer does not hire you, it might have been for discriminatory reasons. In such cases, it is crucial to speak to an employment attorney as soon as possible. It can be difficult to prove discrimination during the hiring process since applicants do not have an ongoing relationship with the employer and, therefore, do not have much opportunity to learn how an employer decides one applicant is more qualified than another.
Speak to an Experienced Employment Law Attorney Today!
If you believe you were discriminated against during the hiring process, you must reach out to an experienced employment law attorney to handle your case. At Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP, our legal team has 110 years of collective legal experience in the field, which we will use to your advantage. Backed by a history of proven success, you can trust that your case will be in good hands with our team.
Contact our law office today at (646) 490-0221 to schedule a case review with a knowledgeable member of our legal team and get started on protecting your legal rights.