What are some interview questions that may be illegal?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2022 | Sex Discrimination |

During a job interview, an employer may attempt to find out some of your personal information before hiring you, such as whether you are currently married or not. Certain questions are not legal to ask under federal anti-discrimination law because an employer might use the answers as a basis to not hire you for a job you have the qualifications for.

You should know what kinds of questions an employer cannot ask you. Sometimes it is not clear. The question may seem innocent enough. Business News Daily describes some questions that, under law, you should not have to answer.

Questions about marital status

An employer cannot discriminate on the basis of your marital status, so a question that tries to get you to reveal whether you are currently married or not is unlikely to be appropriate. An example would be if your interviewer asks if you have a maiden name or to reveal your maiden name.

Employers might be on safer legal ground if they only ask candidates if they have done work under another name. Still, an employer could get in trouble if they only ask female applicants this question, so be sure the employer is not singling you out for this question.

Asking if you have children

Your interviewer may ask you if you have children. Talking about your family may feel natural to you, but this is still a question you should not have to answer. Some employers fear that a worker with children may need to take time away from work to care for a child who is sick or to attend a special event involving their child.

It is possible an interviewer will ask about healthcare arrangements you have concerning children. This could tip off the potential employer that you have children even if you do not directly say the healthcare provisions are for your family.

Asking if you plan to have children

Your interviewer might ask if you are making plans to have a child. An employer may use this information to deny you a job on the grounds that you will have to take maternity leave if you become pregnant. The employer could also worry about having to accommodate a pregnant worker at the workplace.

If you can do the work required for the position you are applying for, your gender, marital status and status as a parent should not matter. Carefully limit the amount of personal information you give out while taking an interview.


FindLaw Network