Illegal Interview Questions

For many people, job interviews are stressful and require intense preparation. Part of preparing for your interview is anticipating what questions your interviewer may ask you. Perhaps equally important is being aware of questions the interviewer cannot ask you by law. State and federal law prohibit employment discrimination of many kinds, including discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, physical disability, and age. Illegal interview questions aren’t always easy to spot, but they could be indicative of discrimination. Here are some common illegal interview questions.

Where is your accent from? Where were you or your parents born?

This question is illegal because it discriminates against a person’s national origin. It is important to note that an interviewer can ask if you are legally authorized to work in the US.

How did you get that scar or injury?

This question discriminates against a disability and the Americans With Disabilities Act does not allow it. Even questions about an interviewee’s physical characteristics can be illegal if they reference their disability. The exception to this rule is if the disability renders the interviewee unable to perform an essential function of the job, such as a warehouse worker being required to lift at least 20 pounds.

How many sick days did you take last year?

This question is similar to the previous example because the employer could be attempting to discriminate against your physical condition. A potential employer has no legal right to know your personal health information.

Are you married? How many kids do you have or plan to have? Who takes care of your children?

This question is primarily directed towards women, but anyone with children can also be asked this question. It is illegal for an interviewer to ask you about your marital status or if you have children. An employer may ask this question in an attempt to determine how committed you will be to the job, but the practice is discriminatory.

Have you ever been arrested?

Interviewers cannot ask about your arrest record because charges may have been dismissed or reduced. It is important to note that interviewers can ask if you have been convicted of a crime if that crime relates in some way to your job performance.

Contact an Indianapolis Discrimination Attorney

If you are asked an illegal interview question, you should politely decline to answer the question and immediately contact a discrimination attorney. At the Hankey Law Office, we believe employers who discriminate against their employees and potential employees should be punished under the full extent of the law. Our experienced lawyers will do everything in our power to fight for your right to earn a living in an environment free from discrimination. If you have been discriminated against, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of compassionate attorneys at (317) 634-8565.