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Illegal questions asked of job applicants

Those who have gone through a job interview know just how stressful the process can be. Researching the prospective employer, preparing for possible questions, and deciding on what to wear can all be time-consuming and challenging. When it comes time to sit down with one’s prospective employer, an individual may be so overwhelmed and eager to please that he or she may not even realize that inappropriate and downright illegal questions are being asked of them.

Sometimes, employers may try to ask an applicant illegal questions in order to gauge whether an employee will be absent from their job for a significant period of time. This most often arises when women interview for jobs, as employers may try to assess whether the applicant has children, intends on getting pregnant, or even if he or she is married. Therefore, questions regarding pregnancy, birth control, marital status, and children are illegal.

The laws protecting applicants from these types of questions are federal in nature. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, for example, protects individuals from discrimination based on childbirth, pregnancy, or medical conditions related to childbearing. Family Medical Leave Act protects individuals from discrimination based on their desire to take time off to care for a newborn or sick child. In other words, there are a number of laws out there that seek to protect workers from unfair treatment, and their reach is wide-ranging.

Therefore, those who believe they have suffered employment discrimination, even if it occurred at the application or interview stage, may want to discuss the matter with an experienced employment law attorney. Such an attorney may be able to help the wronged individual file a claim to remedy the situation and, perhaps, recover compensation for the victim’s damages.

Source: FindLaw, “Illegal Interview Questions and Female Accidents,” accessed on Feb. 20, 2016

Tags: Workplace Discrimination