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Identifying pregnancy discrimination in a job interview

Having a reliable salary while you’re pregnant can put your financial worries at ease, but it’s okay to pursue something new. Unfortunately, some interviewers may not welcome your pregnancy, which can lead to uncomfortable interview questions and might affect your chances of getting the job.

 

However, there are federal laws in place that prevent interviewers and employers from denying you a job based on your pregnancy. Interview questions should pertain to the aspects of the job and whether you are able to perform the main duties of the job. Some examples of these types of interview questions include:

  • Are you pregnant?
  • How far along are you?
  • Do you plan on having any children?
  • Do you have children now?
  • What is your childcare plan?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you plan on getting married?

These questions indicate that the employer considered your pregnancy as a factor when choosing whether or not to hire you. Doing this violates a woman’s right to fair employment. An interviewer may unfairly assume that a woman may not be as committed to her work or will be constantly absent because of her child. Interviewers should not treat you as lesser for your gender or role as a woman.

What action can I take?

If you experience any of these or other personal questions during a job interview, don’t be afraid to take action. Take notes of which questions your interviewer asked if you feel they violated your personal information or directly discriminated against you.

Respond to inappropriate questions by:

  • Giving a brief answer and moving on
  • Asking how the question relates to the job
  • Steering your answer towards the skills you can bring to the position
  • Telling the interviewer you are uncomfortable with the question

If an interviewer does not hire you, and you believe the decision was due to pregnancy discrimination, an experienced employment law attorney can help you fight back and receive the compensation you may be entitled to.

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