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Interview questions: What not to ask

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Q. Are there specific questions that an employer is prohibited from asking during a job interview?

As we have frequently discussed, there are a number of statutes that prohibit workplace discrimination against members of many protected classes—including age, race, national origin, religion, sex, veteran status, disability and union membership.

The questions to avoid during job interviews are those that may inadvertently reveal that the employee belongs to a particular protected class.

Thus, specifically prohibited inquiries include those touching on age or date of birth, birthplace, religion or race, marital status, number or ages of children, child care arrangements, membership in a union or any questions regarding the applicant’s physical or mental conditions.

In addition, the EEOC cautions against questions that may inadvertently reveal membership in a protected class or lead to inadvertent discrimination. Such questions might relate to memberships in social clubs, whether the applicant owns or rents a home and whether the applicant has ever been arrested. 

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