Interviewing for a new job can be a nerve wracking experience. You want the job, you need the money, you are nervous, and you want to make a good impression. In essence, you know that you will do great if they just give you a chance. Something that makes the interview process takes a turn into uncomfortable territory, and you leave feeling disrespected and confused. Take, for example, when professional sports teams ask potential draft picks about their sexual orientation. The fact is, not only are certain interview questions offensive, they are also unlawful.
Discriminatory Questions Prohibited
First and foremost, state and federal laws protect numerous classes of people from employment discrimination based on their protected status. This includes sex, race, color, disability, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV/AIDS status, political affiliation, military status, or status as a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. It is unlawful for an employer to fail to hire an applicant on the basis of their protected status, or the perception that the applicant is part of a protected status.
When it comes to job interviews, the focus must be on the merits and qualifications of the applicant as compared to the qualifications of other candidates. This means that questions or requests relating to an applicant’s disability, gender, sex, sexual orientation, race, or other of the aforementioned classes are a big no and should raise a warning flag in your mind.
Other Prohibited Questions
In addition, there are other areas that employers are prohibited from straying into.
- Asking an applicant about their wages. Recent legislation has made it unlawful to ask about wage and salary history of applicants. This is to protect job seekers from unfair lowball offers based on this information.
- Asking an applicant about criminal history. Except for certain specific professions, employers cannot ask potential employees about their juvenile criminal history or any arrests that did not lead to a criminal conviction. In addition, an applicant cannot be asked about their criminal history at the beginning of the job application process, and can only ask after a conditional offer of employment has been made.
- Asking an applicant about any prior worker’s compensation claim. This is not information that can be sought or used against an applicant.
Contact Moss Bollinger
If you have recently interviewed for a job and any of the questions I mentioned above sound familiar, you may have a claim. Laws exist to protect potential employees from discrimination and to force employers to look at their qualifications. Contact Moss Bollinger. We can help you determine whether you have a claim. If you do, we will do everything in our power to exercise your legal rights. We charge no fees up front and do not get paid unless you do. Call Moss Bollinger today at (866) 535-2994 to set up a free consultation or complete our online form.