Interviewing for a new position is stressful, even when you know that you are qualified, possess solid professional references, and have carefully prepared for the meeting. However, no amount of diligence will have you ready to face illegal questions from a prospective employer. Some Georgia companies still operate under the misconception that workplace discrimination laws do not apply to job applicants, which is a mistake: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits unlawful treatment of individuals at any stage of employment, including recruiting and hiring. Other employers blatantly disregard federal or state statutes as they work to protect their own interests, causing serious harm to potential employees.
If you were the target of unlawful misconduct during the interview process, it is important to realize that you do have rights. A Decatur, GA employment discrimination lawyer can help you understand them and pursue your legal remedies, but it is also important to recognize the types of questions Georgia employers are not allowed to ask.
- Are you a mother? With this question, an employer may be trying to determine whether you might be an unreliable employee because of the roles and tasks commonly – and illegally – associated with motherhood. The company may assume that you will frequently call off to care for sick children or provide school transportation, simply because of your gender. Inquiring about your children, a spouse or co-parent, and other family-related issues is sex discrimination.
- Are you currently pregnant? A prospective employer cannot interview you about your current or future plans to have a family, as these questions violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in addition to other civil rights laws. The company’s goal with these questions is figuring out whether you will be needing maternity leave or special accommodations, or will otherwise cause disruptions or inconvenience.
- How old are you? There are legitimate reasons for an interviewer to ask about your age, such as positions that involve serving liquor or being an adult 18 years or older. However, federal and state discrimination laws prohibit employers from engaging in adverse action because someone is over 40 years old – including not hiring you. While they do not inquire specifically about age, you should also note that the following questions may also be illegal:
- What year did you graduate from high school?
- Are you a Baby Boomer, Gen X, or Millennial?
- When do you expect to retire?
- Do you suffer from a disabling medical condition? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects disabled individuals in the workplace, so it is unlawful for an interviewer to ask about medical conditions. However, another key component of the ADA is the requirement that companies provide reasonable accommodations to enable someone with a disability to perform job-related functions. As such, companies are also prohibited from questioning whether you need adjustments or alterations to the work environment. The exception is where it would be extremely expensive or burdensome for the employer to make certain accommodations, i.e., those that would be unreasonable under the circumstances.
A Georgia Employment Discrimination Attorney Will Protect Your Interests
Depending upon what you encountered during the interview process, you may qualify for legal relief after an employer asks illegal questions. It is possible to recover compensation for your losses, including back pay and legal fees. Plus, some workplace discrimination laws even allow you to seek equitable remedies, such as hiring for the position. To learn more about your options and the legal process, please contact the Vaughn Law Firm at our offices in Decatur, GA. You can set up a free case evaluation with an experienced lawyer by calling 877.615.9495 or visiting us online.