These interview questions are illegal

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2021 | Sex Discrimination |

Both state and federal laws prevent discrimination of several types in the workplace. Because of this, employers cannot base an employment decision based on a woman’s pregnancy or caregiver status.

To create equal employment opportunities for women who are pregnant, mothers or caregivers, potential employers must avoid certain questions during the interview process.

Questions an employer cannot legally ask you

FindLaw states that an employer cannot legally ask you any of the following questions if you are a woman:

  • How many children do you have, if any, and how old are they?
  • Does your spouse also work?
  • What is your marital status?
  • Do you have plans to get pregnant?
  • How reliable are your childcare arrangements?
  • Are you currently on birth control?

If you encounter these types of questions, it may be best to say that you are not comfortable answering them or ask what relevance the question has to the job position.

Examples of legal interview questions

Employers have the right to question you about your education, experience and qualifications for the position you are applying for. To avoid discrimination, however, they must ask the same interview questions to every employee. Examples of questions that are legal include the following:

  • Do you have prior commitments that may clash with your work schedule?
  • Do you expect to have any absenteeism on a regular basis?
  • Would your previous employer describe you as reliable?

The above questions are appropriate because they apply to everyone, regardless of his or her sex or status as a caretaker.

It is a good idea for female applicants to give out as little personal information as possible during an interview. While gender discrimination is illegal, overindulgence of personal information may still influence a hiring manager’s decision.


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