The present financial crisis made everybody to search for a good paying job for survival. In their zeal to wage labor, many people overlook inappropriate interview questions. Asking questions regarding personal matters such as marital status, health and race is more than just bad manners – they are illegal and is banned in some areas as per law. Questions of these types are used to discriminate against the applicants, and there is no need to respond for such questions. Below are eight questions that your employer is not allowed to ask as per law.
1. What is your age?
As per Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) it protects individuals aged 40 years or older against discrimination in the workplace for young employees. No special rule is there to protect the workers under 40 years against discrimination. To determine if you are legally authorized to work, employers can ask you such questions only if the applicant is more than 18 years.
2. Marital Status?
If the employer asks questions like marital status of applicant or employee it is irritating and also prohibited as per law. Employers could be tempted to ask the marital status of employee to know if the report could have a negative impact on your work.
3. Are you citizen of U.S.?
Citizenship and Immigration Status can’t be used against an employee during employment under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). Employers must wait for an offer has been extended to require a worker to full employment eligibility verification (I-9) and submit the form and identity documents proving authorization for employment. Also it is illegal if an employer asks an applicant about their permission to work in United States.
4. Do you have a disability?
This question may seem necessary to determine whether a job applicant can perform the required tasks, but it is illegal to ask as per the Americans Disabilities Act of 1990. Employers can not discount anyone from finding employment due to physical or mental disability. In fact, the law requires that they should accommodate disabilities, unless it can prove it would cause significant difficulty or expense to do so. Employers can not ask you if you have any previous illnesses or operations.
5. Do you use drugs, drink or smoke?
The concerns about drugs, alcohol or nicotine dependence is valid, because they can affect the quality of work of an employee and the coverage of a company health insurance. However, an employer may find themselves in legal trouble if they do not frame questions about these potential problems in depth. They are allowed to ask if you have never been disciplined for violating company policy on use of alcohol and tobacco.
6. What religion you practice?
Inquiries about religion and beliefs are a very sensitive issue. The interviewer may be curious about the timing of reasons like holidays, the employee may be off or if the applicant is absent from work during the weekend because of any kind of religious obligations. It is illegal as per law to intentionally discriminate or harass employees using the religious beliefs. Employers need to help or support to the religious beliefs of employees by giving them freedom to wear dress as per their beliefs and by giving paid leaves on the religious festival occassions.
7. In which race you belongs to?
The eligibility for a job has no relation with the race or skin colour of the employee at all. This protection is granted in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, religion, colour, sex or nationality. Employers can ask employees to communicate the race, on a voluntary basis for positive action.
8. Are you pregnant?
Employers may have concerns about a worker or employee who takes time to work for maternity leave or not have custody of the children during working hours. Pregnancy Discrimination Act states that an employer can not refuse to hire pregnant women because of pregnancy, due to pregnancy-related condition or because of prejudice from colleagues, clients or customers.
It is, however, legitimate for employers to ease the nerves of the availability of an employee or a commitment to a message asking about the goals of long-term career or the possibility of an employee to work overtime and overtime travel.
It is important to have some idea about your rights as a worker. Illegal questions are irritating and not acceptable during the interview or the workplace. While the abuse of employers questions may be simple errors, they may also be cases of intentional discrimination, which should be reported.