Q. We are looking to hire a new employee. Are there some questions I should steer away from?
A. When interviewing an applicant, employers need to keep in mind that California law protects employees and job applicants from discrimination based on:
• Age (40 and over)
• Religious creed (including religious dress and grooming)
• Denial of
• Disability (mental and physical) including HIV and AIDS
• Marital status
• Medical condition (cancer and genetic characteristics)
• Genetic information
• Military and veteran status (unless veterans receive a preference)
• National origin (including language use restrictions)
• Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding)
• Gender, gender identity, and gender expression
• Sexual orientation.
In order to avoid even the perception of discrimination, don’t ask questions regarding these topics. In an interview, tailor questions to the job and its requirements. Avoid even seemingly harmless questions like, “You have such a unique name, what is its origin?”