Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Are There Questions a Potential Employer Can’t Ask in a Job Interview?

By Dan Atkerson on April 17, 2017

Some interview questions may be against the law.Job interviews can be a terrifying experience. Potential employers throw dozens of questions your way about prior experience, your credentials and why you would be a good fit for the job. However, there are some questions that may run afoul of the law. The following may be illegal interview questions:

  • Be on the lookout for questions designed to reveal your age. For example, “Our business has a lot of younger people. Are you ok working with a younger age group?”
  • Questions attempted to uncover pregnancy status may be illegal. An example could be, “Do you plan on having children any time soon?”
  • Potential employers may be breaking the law if they attempt to unmask your religious affiliation. For example, “Would working on a Sunday go against your religious practices?”
  • Be aware of questions that ask about disabilities. For example, "Would you need reasonable accommodations to perform this job?"
  • If you are in the military, there are certain questions employers cannot ask. Look for questions such as, “I see you are in the Navy Reserves. How often does your unit deploy?”

Which Laws Protect Against Illegal Interview Questions?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects jobseekers from questions that discriminate against race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy status), or national origin. Other laws that protect jobseekers may include:
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • The Equal Pay Act
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (also called the ADA)
Jobseekers who were not hired for discriminatory reasons may have legal options. However, it would depend on the circumstances. For example, we recently wrote a blog on the circumstances required to pursue an age discrimination claim.

Jobseekers who believe they were discriminated against should contact an employment law attorney to discuss possible options. Texas employment law attorney Dan A. Atkerson has dedicated his practice to helping people harmed by workplace discrimination.

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