illegal interview questions

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Anonymous User
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illegal interview questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:59 pm

Is: are you married or single one of these questions?

I interviewed for an internship the other day and was asked this question, not by a lawyer (obviously) but by his paralegal (who conducted some sort of interview with me). By and large, the paralegal did not appear that professional.

she's a woman. I am a woman. Yet I feel very uncomfortable with me.

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kalvano
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby kalvano » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:01 pm

I don't believe they can ask about kids or marriage. But perhaps she was just making conversation.

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:04 pm

because of this question I don't want the internship any more. Not that I think she had any ill motive.

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kalvano
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby kalvano » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:10 pm

Well then.

jurisx
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby jurisx » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:14 pm

Most places will ask. They will pretend it "small talk" or trying to find if you have "conflicting obligations".

Expect it until you die. You can complain, maybe even sue. Don't expect anyone to learn or care.

Don't believe? Ask your Profs, they will give a solid hundred examples a piece without even a breath of thought first.

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:17 pm

i have had many other interviews. none of them asked or even beat around.

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kalvano
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby kalvano » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:30 pm

If simply asking you if you're married or single is cause for you to not want to work at a place, I would submit that you may have issues larger than whether or not they are supposed to ask that.

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:44 pm

maybe this is because I have other options.
I would prefer a place that does not ask such questions at the interview stage. once i'm in, who cares.

PinkRevolver
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby PinkRevolver » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:45 pm

kalvano wrote:If simply asking you if you're married or single is cause for you to not want to work at a place, I would submit that you may have issues larger than whether or not they are supposed to ask that.





+1

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:51 pm

well, I wouldn't normally mind telling the answer at all. and I did tell the answer
but this is what schools and the law told us:
--LinkRemoved--

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TyrionLannister
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby TyrionLannister » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:58 pm

So according to your source, and your interpretation, asking if you had ever been arrested or convicted of a crime would be illegal as well. Surely they formally inquired about that somewhere on your application, no?

ETA: how was the question posed exactly? Just as in OP?
Last edited by TyrionLannister on Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:01 pm

I do not go to this school and I do not buy into this list in particular.
but there are enough sources that say it's actually unprofessional, if not strictly illegal, to probe into people's marital status before the job was given.

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Pate
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Pate » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:04 pm

FWIW: I saw a story the other day where the HR woman placed fake family photos on her desk to lure the interviewee to say something about family. The HR lady would also walk the interviewee to her car to check the backseat for toys and baby seats. All done with a smile and what was seemingly polite conversation. Although Facebook was not mentioned, you can figure that odds are good HR will check it out.

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Tom Joad
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:05 pm

0L here so don't kill me but I fail to why this is inappropriate?

2012JayDee
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby 2012JayDee » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:06 pm

TyrionLannister wrote:So according to your source, and your interpretation, asking if you had ever been arrested or convicted of a crime would be illegal as well. Surely they formally inquired about that somewhere on your application, no?



Being arrested or convicted could prevent you from doing certain aspects of your job. Being married is not a qualifying or disqualifying factor and is highly irrelevant.

It is inappropriate to inquire about marital status, but it may not necessarily be illegal. It's really just frowned upon because if you don't get the job because for example you're Lesbian/Gay, and you say that you and your partner are not married, you could bring a cause of action for discrimination (even if that isn't the reason you weren't hired).

Just like employers probably shouldn't ask you how old you are...although it's clearly in your file somewhere. But it would rarely have to do with job performance, unless your age prevented you from meeting some necessary qualification (having a valid driver's license for example).

I doubt the "interview" with the paralegal had any significant weight except that the way you treat support people in the office environment weighs heavily on the consideration you will get for the job. If the partner's secretary tries to small talk then you should probably small talk. You'll be surprised how much influence "Glenda" may have on the partner's decision to give you the job.

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Pate
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Pate » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:09 pm

Tom Joad wrote:0L here so don't kill me but I fail to why this is inappropriate?

It was a story where the HR woman was revealing her tricks on how she obtained information that was inappropriate to ask about during an interview

Why inappropriate? Someone in gov’t must have said it was.

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Tom Joad
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:16 pm

Pate wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:0L here so don't kill me but I fail to why this is inappropriate?

It was a story where the HR woman was revealing her tricks on how she obtained information that was inappropriate to ask about during an interview

Why inappropriate? Someone in gov’t must have said it was.

I just don't see why this in an inappropriate question to ask. Because employers could infer about your sexual orientation?

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rinkrat19
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:20 pm

Pate wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:0L here so don't kill me but I fail to why this is inappropriate?

It was a story where the HR woman was revealing her tricks on how she obtained information that was inappropriate to ask about during an interview

Why inappropriate? Someone in gov’t must have said it was.
Because some workplaces would love to not hire women with kids, assuming that the kids will take up all their time and make their work suffer. Because if it's one thing working mothers can't do, it's multitask.

I could also see an umarried man (or woman) getting pegged as possibly gay, and an actually gay man (or woman) not wanting to answer the question for obvious reasons. And some people will assume that a single young woman will be getting married soon, and quitting the job to start procreating.

Basically, anyone who's not a married guy might have some issues with the question.

2012JayDee
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby 2012JayDee » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:22 pm

Tom Joad wrote:
Pate wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:0L here so don't kill me but I fail to why this is inappropriate?

It was a story where the HR woman was revealing her tricks on how she obtained information that was inappropriate to ask about during an interview

Why inappropriate? Someone in gov’t must have said it was.

I just don't see why this in an inappropriate question to ask. Because employers could infer about your sexual orientation?



It's inappropriate because it is likely irrelevant and it could make the person that has to answer the question uncomfortable (which is the beginning stages of harassment in the workplace, discrimination or other employment related issues). Most people don't really care about being asked, but for every 100 people that get asked this questions there will be 1 that finds it outrageous and wants to sue.

If they want to know if you being married or having kids will interfere with your ability to work certain hours then the more appropriate questions are the more direct ones.
-Can you work late nights?
-Can your work weekends/holidays?
Those are legitimate questions that go directly to your ability to perform successfully and are not personal in nature. Now... if you say I can't be here before 8am because I have to drop my kid off at the babysitter's, but I can have my wife pick him up so I can work late then you've offered that information.

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kalvano
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby kalvano » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:24 pm

They aren't supposed to ask. A bigger question is why should the interviewee care? Is your family a state secret or something?

On your list of things to get pissy about at a job interview, this should be last on the list.

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Tom Joad
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:28 pm

That seems reasonable. Still kind of sucks for the employers if they want greater clarification though. It seems that applicants could likely intentionally or unintentionally lie about their availability. Knowing an applicant's social and family obligations could give employers more information that they can use to more accurately access applicants.

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:51 pm

I got asked about my nationality and my citizenship status by an old and senior partner of a secondary market big firm. The other interviewer was flustered afterwards, awkardness ensued...no call back.

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TommyK
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby TommyK » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:36 pm

Tom Joad wrote:That seems reasonable. Still kind of sucks for the employers if they want greater clarification though. It seems that applicants could likely intentionally or unintentionally lie about their availability. Knowing an applicant's social and family obligations could give employers more information that they can use to more accurately access applicants.


Or they could make unreasonable assumptions, like:

-Oh, so you have a kid - therefore I won't hire you because you'll need to be out of the office by 7pm to put him to bed
-Oh, so you're married and you have limited years of fecundity so you won't be able to be involved in our most important projects because you may go all preggo on us.
-Oh, so you have an unrelated disability and I'm going to assume that means you'll be unable to perform unrelated x task
-Oh, you are not a citizen so you must not be eligible to be employed in the US.


Employers shouldn't be making hiring decisions based on non-relevant factors like this. So while in many cases, while it's not "illegal" to ask a question like it, it's such a stoopid idea because if they do not get the job it leaves the employer up to litigation liability.

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:41 pm

kalvano wrote:They aren't supposed to ask. A bigger question is why should the interviewee care? Is your family a state secret or something?

On your list of things to get pissy about at a job interview, this should be last on the list.


I'm a 0L but a young woman in a state government job, so I thought I'd chime in. It's a subject of concern if you're in my demographic because some employers view you as a time bomb of instability who could at any moment move because you got married, go on maternity leave, etc.

My position traditionally has an extremely high turnover rate for these exact reasons, and when I was hired they were actively trying to stop that trend. During my interview, they scoped out these answers in a way that I'm sure would have scandalized OP. I checked out because I'm very single and childless, but was the only early 20's female they gambled on, I'm sure for these reasons. Unfortunately for them I am just as unstable as they might have feared because I'm leaving to go to LS so :/

But yeah, I can definitely see why employers would be worried about these issues, but it also sucks if there is a 0% chance of you having commitments like this in the near future but are still suspected of it. I will definitely be on guard about it during interviews- if I'm lucky enough to not have kids or other time drains, might as well collect my bonus points for it lol

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sunynp
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby sunynp » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:47 pm

It is discriminatory to ask about marital status . It is illegal in the sense that if a person doesn't get hired- the interview questions asked show discrimination because of their gender. Have you seen mad men and the way women in business are treated? It's because woman wouldn't get hired because the idea was they would leave as soon as they got married or had a baby.



:?:
TommyK wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:That seems reasonable. Still kind of sucks for the employers if they want greater clarification though. It seems that applicants could likely intentionally or unintentionally lie about their availability. Knowing an applicant's social and family obligations could give employers more information that they can use to more accurately access applicants.


Or they could make unreasonable assumptions, like:

-Oh, so you have a kid - therefore I won't hire you because you'll need to be out of the office by 7pm to put him to bed
-Oh, so you're married and you have limited years of fecundity so you won't be able to be involved in our most important projects because you may go all preggo on us.
-Oh, so you have an unrelated disability and I'm going to assume that means you'll be unable to perform unrelated x task
-Oh, you are not a citizen so you must not be eligible to be employed in the US.


Employers shouldn't be making hiring decisions based on non-relevant factors like this. So while in many cases, while it's not "illegal" to ask a question like it, it's such a stoopid idea because if they do not get the job it leaves the employer up to litigation liability.




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