illegal interview questions

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Tom Joad
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:53 pm

If I was a young woman I would just go into interviews outright telling employers that I am doing absolutely everything in my power not to get knocked up and make them know you know how serious you take your career. I have a lot of sympathy for employers who routinely hire women and get burned when they have kids right after starting their job.

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dresden doll
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby dresden doll » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:59 pm

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


Because it's not okay to inquire into details of people's personal lives and (presumably) account for that when making hiring decisions? Can you think of a single valid reason for inquiring into someone's marital status in the context of an employment interview?

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:05 pm

Tom Joad wrote:If I was a young woman I would just go into interviews outright telling employers that I am doing absolutely everything in my power not to get knocked up and make them know you know how serious you take your career. I have a lot of sympathy for employers who routinely hire women and get burned when they have kids right after starting their job.


I'm the anon poster from above... the tricky part is that you also don't want to look like you "doth protest too much" about it. It definitely blows that women who do what you described ruin it for the rest of us.

But there is honestly no way to prove to employers that you are any different, since I'm sure none of those women indicated that they were going to do this during the hiring process (and may not have known themselves).

So I can see why employers would be keen to find this out, I certainly know that I would in that position. I hope you also empathize with OP and me about how we shouldn't be suspected of doing those same behaviors just because we have the same equipment as women who have done this in the past.

It is certainly a fair thing to suss out about someone in an interview though, in my opinion, especially if you're asking the other bullshit I have been asked in the past like what my hobbies are. At a certain point in finding out information about someone, relationship and reproductive status would be an elephant in the room to leave out.

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Tom Joad
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:06 pm

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


Because it's not okay to inquire into details of people's personal lives and (presumably) account for that when making hiring decisions? Can you think of a single valid reason for inquiring into someone's marital status in the context of an employment interview?

To see if they plan on having kids.
To see if they are used to working with kids.
To see if they could be prone to moving in the near future.
To understand their availability.
To understand their priorities in life.

I could understand how wanting to know this information could be construed as discrimination, but I also think that many employers have a good reason to want to know this information. After thinking about it, I would imagine the law offers us some guidance as to where the employee/employer line should be drawn, but the employers shouldn't be painted as the bad guys because they want to know these details if they are relevant to the job. They should follow the law, but they could have very good reasons for wanting to get as much information as possible.

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rayiner
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby rayiner » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:11 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.


The point is that knowing someone's marital status is not useful without making a bunch of assumptions about the division of labor within their relationship. And that's the best case--often those assumptions are tinged with irrational sexism on top of that. E.g. people usually assume that a woman will move accommodate her husband's career, rather than vice versa.

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Tom Joad
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:13 pm

rayiner 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.


The point is that knowing someone's marital status is not useful without making a bunch of assumptions about the division of labor within their relationship. And that's the best case--often those assumptions are tinged with irrational sexism on top of that. E.g. people usually assume that a woman will move accommodate her husband's career, rather than vice versa.

But if you can't ask about the division of labor within the relationship, it leaves employers more open to make either conscious or subconscious assumptions. I can understand employers wanting to eliminate their liability by not asking in the first place, but not asking could actually hurt women if employers make assumptions without even asking.

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rayiner
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby rayiner » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:14 pm

Tom Joad wrote:If I was a young woman I would just go into interviews outright telling employers that I am doing absolutely everything in my power not to get knocked up and make them know you know how serious you take your career. I have a lot of sympathy for employers who routinely hire women and get burned when they have kids right after starting their job.


Such sympathies are common, but irrational. For the average woman, maternity leave consumes maybe 0.5-1% of a 40-year career. Employers blow out of proportion the actual burden. Yeah, if you hire a 25 year old woman there is a decent chance she will take maternity leave while she is with company, but if you hire a 35 year old woman it is likely that someone else paid when she took maternity leave. On an overall basis, a gender-blind hiring process thus likely costs you less than 1% in lost weeks as far as maternity leave goes.

I'm not particularly sympathetic over such a small cost.

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dresden doll
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby dresden doll » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:22 pm

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


Because it's not okay to inquire into details of people's personal lives and (presumably) account for that when making hiring decisions? Can you think of a single valid reason for inquiring into someone's marital status in the context of an employment interview?

To see if they plan on having kids.
To see if they are used to working with kids.
To see if they could be prone to moving in the near future.
To understand their availability.
To understand their priorities in life.

I could understand how wanting to know this information could be construed as discrimination, but I also think that many employers have a good reason to want to know this information. After thinking about it, I would imagine the law offers us some guidance as to where the employee/employer line should be drawn, but the employers shouldn't be painted as the bad guys because they want to know these details if they are relevant to the job. They should follow the law, but they could have very good reasons for wanting to get as much information as possible.


You're not meant to care about someone's procreation plans. It's prying, it's not a valid basis for hiring decisions and it's not like they'd tell you anyway if they thought it might endanger their chance of getting the job. What are you going to do if you hire them and they procreate three months later, sue?
It doesn't matter for shit whether you enjoy kids. This is law, not babysitting.
People move for all sorts of reasons, and I'm unaware of any correlations between relationship status and moving around.
LOL, what availability? "Sowwwwy, I'm married so I won't be able to come to work some days?" I don't think so.
I don't even know what 'priorities' is supposed to mean in this context.

And no kidding employers would like 'as much information as possible.' I'm sure they'd like to know it if you suffered from cancer, too, but for some odd reason, we don't let them require interviewees bring their medical records when they come in to interivew.

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dresden doll
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby dresden doll » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:24 pm

Tom Joad wrote:
rayiner 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.


The point is that knowing someone's marital status is not useful without making a bunch of assumptions about the division of labor within their relationship. And that's the best case--often those assumptions are tinged with irrational sexism on top of that. E.g. people usually assume that a woman will move accommodate her husband's career, rather than vice versa.

But if you can't ask about the division of labor within the relationship, it leaves employers more open to make either conscious or subconscious assumptions. I can understand employers wanting to eliminate their liability by not asking in the first place, but not asking could actually hurt women if employers make assumptions without even asking.

And if they ask and women honestly tell them they'd like to have kids within the next 2 years, that might hurt the women too. You haven't at all proposed the superior alternative.

The point is that it's derpy to pretend like there's no reason to prevent employers from asking that kind of question and act flabbergasted when you find out that that's how things work.

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rayiner
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby rayiner » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:25 pm

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


Because it's not okay to inquire into details of people's personal lives and (presumably) account for that when making hiring decisions? Can you think of a single valid reason for inquiring into someone's marital status in the context of an employment interview?

To see if they plan on having kids.
To see if they are used to working with kids.
To see if they could be prone to moving in the near future.
To understand their availability.
To understand their priorities in life.

I could understand how wanting to know this information could be construed as discrimination, but I also think that many employers have a good reason to want to know this information. After thinking about it, I would imagine the law offers us some guidance as to where the employee/employer line should be drawn, but the employers shouldn't be painted as the bad guys because they want to know these details if they are relevant to the job. They should follow the law, but they could have very good reasons for wanting to get as much information as possible.


You're not meant to care about someone's procreation plans. It's prying, it's not a valid basis for hiring decisions and it's not like they'd tell you anyway if they thought it might endanger their chance of getting the job. What are you going to do if you hire them and they procreate three months later, sue?
It doesn't matter for shit whether you enjoy kids. This is law, not babysitting.
People move for all sorts of reasons, and I'm unaware of any correlations between relationship status and moving around.
LOL, what availability? "Sowwwwy, I'm married so I won't be able to come to work some days?" I don't think so.
I don't even know what 'priorities' is supposed to mean in this context.

And no kidding employers would like 'as much information as possible.' I'm sure they'd like to know it if you suffered from cancer, too, but for some odd reason, we don't let them require interviewees bring their medical records when they come in to interivew.


Image

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Tom Joad
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:32 pm

I said it was appropriate for the state to step in and draw rules regarding hiring and I said employers should follow those rules.

I am sorry if you got caught up my attempt to show employers have non-evil motives to know who they are hiring before they start paying them.

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dresden doll
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby dresden doll » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:41 pm

Tom Joad wrote:I said it was appropriate for the state to step in and draw rules regarding hiring and I said employers should follow those rules.

I am sorry if you got caught up my attempt to show employers have non-evil motives to know who they are hiring before they start paying them.


Is that what you were doing? That was pointless usage of your time, then, since I don't think there's anything 'evil' about asking the question to begin with. I just think it's inappropriate, pointless, and apt to work to women's disadvantage (unfairly so).

I don't particularly care if you disagree; I was just struck by the derpiness of your 'wait, wut, why would this not be permitted?' reaction. Even if you disagree, it should be blindingly obvious to you why that's the rule.

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby rayiner » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:43 pm

Tom Joad wrote:I said it was appropriate for the state to step in and draw rules regarding hiring and I said employers should follow those rules.

I am sorry if you got caught up my attempt to show employers have non-evil motives to know who they are hiring before they start paying them.


I wouldn't call it evil, but it's disingenuous to act like these questions are not motivated by sexist assumptions. There are a lot of things employers could ask people. Do you have a family history of alcoholism? Do you have a family history of heart disease? Are you lazy? What do your friends think of you? These are ostensibly all relevant. Nobody asks those questions, however. Employers only want to know about things like marital status when a woman is involved, so they can act on their sexist preconceptions.

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby shredderrrrrr » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:59 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.


Agreed. I can see why it is out of line to ask, but I fail to see why it is worth getting so worked up over.

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Scurredsitless1 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:44 pm

In most states, an employer cannot take an adverse employment action based on marital status. If asked about marital status in an interview, and you don't get hired, you probably have a pretty strong leg to stand on that you were discriminated against. It's a dumb question for an interviewer to ask - you can claim discrimination no matter how you answer. This question could also trigger a gender discrimination claim - it's a horrible question, very risky, and it doesn't reveal much about a person.

An employer cannot ask questions that are likely to reveal a disability. They are not permitted to even ask about heart disease. If they do, and even if you do not have heart disease, you still have standing to bring a claim under the ADA. Typically for an ADA claim, you would have to be a "qualified individual with a disability" - but not when it comes to interview questions, any applicant has standing.

An employer cannot take an adverse employment actions based on arrest records. The EEOC just revised their guidence on this issue. Convictions are trickier. Many states, counties, and cities have instituted laws that restrict an employer from asking about criminal records until later in the hiring process - "Ban the Box" campaign. Philly requires that an inquiry be put off until after the first interview, other places only permit inquiries after a conditional job offer. While many states do not allow for adverse employment actions based on criminal records, they do allow for such actions to be based on the conduct that led to the record (for example, I can't be fired for being convicted for domestic abuse - but I can get fired because I committed domestic abuse).

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby birdlaw117 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:52 pm

dresden doll wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:I said it was appropriate for the state to step in and draw rules regarding hiring and I said employers should follow those rules.

I am sorry if you got caught up my attempt to show employers have non-evil motives to know who they are hiring before they start paying them.


Is that what you were doing? That was pointless usage of your time, then, since I don't think there's anything 'evil' about asking the question to begin with. I just think it's inappropriate, pointless, and apt to work to women's disadvantage (unfairly so).

I don't particularly care if you disagree; I was just struck by the derpiness of your 'wait, wut, why would this not be permitted?' reaction. Even if you disagree, it should be blindingly obvious to you why that's the rule.

Well, there is a perfectly valid argument to be made that these assumptions will be made regardless, but if employers aren't able to ask these questions the negative assumptions (albeit flawed) will have an impact on all women that are a certain age rather than just some. So it isn't necessarily derpiness. Perhaps you just needed to take one more step down the logical pathway.

That said, if it becomes an issue of whether we would rather have discrimination that impacts all women of a certain age or just some, I'm not sure which is actually the lesser evil.

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Napt » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:56 pm

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


Because it's not okay to inquire into details of people's personal lives and (presumably) account for that when making hiring decisions? Can you think of a single valid reason for inquiring into someone's marital status in the context of an employment interview?

To see if they plan on having kids.
To see if they are used to working with kids.
To see if they could be prone to moving in the near future.
To understand their availability.
To understand their priorities in life.

I could understand how wanting to know this information could be construed as discrimination, but I also think that many employers have a good reason to want to know this information. After thinking about it, I would imagine the law offers us some guidance as to where the employee/employer line should be drawn, but the employers shouldn't be painted as the bad guys because they want to know these details if they are relevant to the job. They should follow the law, but they could have very good reasons for wanting to get as much information as possible.

Cr.

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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby sunynp » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:57 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:I said it was appropriate for the state to step in and draw rules regarding hiring and I said employers should follow those rules.

I am sorry if you got caught up my attempt to show employers have non-evil motives to know who they are hiring before they start paying them.


Is that what you were doing? That was pointless usage of your time, then, since I don't think there's anything 'evil' about asking the question to begin with. I just think it's inappropriate, pointless, and apt to work to women's disadvantage (unfairly so).

I don't particularly care if you disagree; I was just struck by the derpiness of your 'wait, wut, why would this not be permitted?' reaction. Even if you disagree, it should be blindingly obvious to you why that's the rule.

Well, there is a perfectly valid argument to be made that these assumptions will be made regardless, but if employers aren't able to ask these questions the negative assumptions (albeit flawed) will have an impact on all women that are a certain age rather than just some. So it isn't necessarily derpiness. Perhaps you just needed to take one more step down the logical pathway.

That said, if it becomes an issue of whether we would rather have discrimination that impacts all women of a certain age or just some, I'm not sure which is actually the lesser evil.


I'm not sure what you mean. In the old days, if women were married they were thought to not need a job because their husband was supposed to have a job and support them. It doesn't just relate to children, that was one example. Asking someone their marital status in interviews is evidence of discriminatory practices in hiring. That is because it was used in the past as a discriminatory question against women.

I'm sure there is a ton of discriminatory information that employers would like to use in hiring. But it is illegal to do so. Age (maybe only if over 40? not sure) can't be asked in an interview; you can't ask about disabilities either. If an employer asks these prohibited questions and then doesn't hire that person, it is evidence against them.

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birdlaw117
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby birdlaw117 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:08 pm

But if the concern is that they are making assumptions based on broad categories, what's to stop them from just broadening those categories and making the same assumptions? That leads to making all men more desirable to hire (relating to this one aspect), rather than all men and some women.

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Tom Joad
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:15 pm

Also although women have a stronger history of discrimination in this area, don't forget about men too.

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rayiner
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby rayiner » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:21 pm

Tom Joad wrote:Also although women have a stronger history of discrimination in this area, don't forget about men too.


What about them? As a man who went through an OCI and an SA two years ago/last year, with a wife who went through OCI last year and is going through an SA this year, I have to say it's fucking awesome to be a man. The level of advantage we have is very noticeable, even today.

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dingbat
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby dingbat » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:46 pm

It's not illegal to ask the question but it is illegal for the answer to influence thè hiring decision.
Therefore mostvinterviewers avoid the question, so one can never accuse them of making the hiring decision on an illegal basis

Personally, I would politely tell the interviewer why the question should not be asked, but then answer anyway - I got nothing to hide

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dresden doll
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby dresden doll » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:11 pm

rayiner wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:Also although women have a stronger history of discrimination in this area, don't forget about men too.


What about them? As a man who went through an OCI and an SA two years ago/last year, with a wife who went through OCI last year and is going through an SA this year, I have to say it's fucking awesome to be a man. The level of advantage we have is very noticeable, even today.


Yeah, my boyfriend's firm loves the fact that he's a daddy.I'd venture to guess (as would he) that they don't love mummies nearly as much. What about men?

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dresden doll
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby dresden doll » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:20 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:But if the concern is that they are making assumptions based on broad categories, what's to stop them from just broadening those categories and making the same assumptions? That leads to making all men more desirable to hire (relating to this one aspect), rather than all men and some women.


Are you serious? The concern isn't that employers will discriminate against the entire gender because they're not allowed to distinguish those interested in working 24/7 from those who'd like to have family and kids. The concern is that employers shouldn't get to weed out the latter because meritorious women who happen to be interested in family and kids don't deserve to be turned away on the basis of sexist assumption that they'll drop the job as soon as they start birthing babies.

I'm amazed this apparently needs explaining.

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birdlaw117
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Re: illegal interview questions

Postby birdlaw117 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:43 pm

dresden doll wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:But if the concern is that they are making assumptions based on broad categories, what's to stop them from just broadening those categories and making the same assumptions? That leads to making all men more desirable to hire (relating to this one aspect), rather than all men and some women.


Are you serious? The concern isn't that employers will discriminate against the entire gender because they're not allowed to distinguish those interested in working 24/7 from those who'd like to have family and kids. The concern is that employers shouldn't get to weed out the latter because meritorious women who happen to be interested in family and kids don't deserve to be turned away on the basis of sexist assumption that they'll drop the job as soon as they start birthing babies.

I'm amazed this apparently needs explaining.

Yeah, I realize what your concern is. That was plenty clear. But it should also be clear that there isn't really anything preventing what I described. I'm amazed that apparently needs explaining. :roll:

(Seriously, have you ever disagreed with someone's post and not attacked the poster's intelligence in your response?)




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