Here are some tips on what not to ask to avoid a liability.
Want to avoid complaints and discrimination allegations flowing from your company or organization’s hiring practices?
Then, you need to be very careful in your hiring processes and interview questions. Imagine the scenario where a 55-year-old male applies for a job. During the interview, questions that highlight the candidates age are discussed (college graduation, grandchildren, etc.). He is not hired. He believes he was very qualified for job and looks for reason for his rejection. He focuses on age related questions and believes he was subject to age discrimination. He hires plaintiff’s attorney to file complaint. With planning and proper procedures, this is a situation that can and should be avoided.
Generally speaking, an employer should steer away from asking job interview questions about an applicant’s age, national origin, disability, genetic information, race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, marital status, having children, pregnancy or whether or not they are planning to start a family.
Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, employers often find themselves “accidentally” going down a slippery slope.
The interview process is an important time for employers to “get to know” the applicant and determine whether or not they would be a good fit for the job that they are hiring for. However, there are certain interview questions that employers should not ask, some of which are more obvious than others.
To name a few:
1. What class were you at Shermer High School?
2. What year did you graduate from Duke University?
3. How many kids do you have? Are you planning to have more?
4. Have you ever tested positive for drugs before? When was the last time?
5. Have you ever been arrested, charged or convicted?
6. I can hear that you have an accent. Where are you from?
7. Where do you live?
8. Are you comfortable taking direction from a younger individual? We tend to have younger managers.
As an employer it is extremely important that you utilize a standard set of questions for each candidate. If you are an employer that is interested in learning more steps you can take to limit your liability in your hiring process, please call our Employment/Labor Practice Group at General Counsel, P.C. (703)-556-0411, firstname.lastname@example.org