What Can And Can't An Employer Ask During The Hiring Process?

Under federal employment laws, employers are prohibited from asking questions that discriminate against a potential employee on the basis of their age, race, gender, national origin or religion. Employers also cannot ask questions that could lead to discrimination of an employee's disability or pregnancy. Employers are required, by law, to abide by these laws at each stage of the hiring process, including during ad placement, interviews and the final selection process.

Whether an employer unintentionally misunderstands what constitutes an unlawful question or they intentionally ignore the employee protections laid out in the law, employees can take legal action against employers for workplace discrimination. The legal process to seek restitution is a complex one and not something you should handle on your own.

If you believe an employer asked you incredibly personal or discriminatory questions during the hiring process, the experienced employment lawyers at The Grubb Law Group can help you take legal action to protect your rights. Contact us now for a free initial consultation.

What Can't An Employer Ask You?

Because there is an incredibly extensive list of legal interview questions employers are allowed to ask you, it's best to outline the questions employers are prohibited from asking prospective employees. These include, but are not limited to, questions concerning an applicant's:

  • Citizenship status
  • Religion
  • Race
  • Marital status
  • Age (other than whether the applicant is over the age of 18)
  • Physical or mental condition — specifically whether they are considered disabled
  • Home life — specifically if they have children or intend to have children
  • History with drug and alcohol use

An employer is only allowed to discuss these topics if the applicant raises them during the interview or hiring process.

Discrimination And Sexual Harassment During The Hiring Process

Though the law forbids employers from participating in discriminatory hiring practices, some employers may try to get around the law by asking you about particular clubs, societies or organizations you're a part of all in an effort to determine your age, race, gender, national origin, ancestry or whether you have a disability or are pregnant. Just because an employer is not directly asking you this information doesn't mean they are not violating employment laws and your employee rights.

Sexual harassment during the hiring process is also not unheard of, especially among female applicants. Any employer who asks questions or makes comments of a sexual nature are in direct violation of the law and can be held accountable through a civil lawsuit.

Know Your Rights And How To Protect Them

Employers in West Virginia who ask leading or surreptitious questions in order to determine whether or not an applicant is a member of a protected class are not only partaking in unfair hiring practices; they are also violating federal employment laws. At The Grubb Law Group, we actively hold employers accountable for their actions and resolve the injustice suffered by applicants.

If you believe you were discriminated against on an application or during an interview, we want to hear from you. Let us take legal action in order to seek a positive resolution. To speak with attorney David L. Grubb or partnering attorney Kristina Thomas Whiteaker, call 304-982-7755 or send us a message online. All initial consultations are free of charge and obligation.