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You are Here: Home > Interviews > Interview Center > Dealing with Illegal Interview Questions - 2

Dealing with Illegal Interview Questions

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More potentially illegal interview questions are listed below, along with exceptions.

Illegal Interview Questions about Religion

Under the Civil Rights Act, it is illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of religion.

Do you go to church?
Are you religious?
What religion are you?
Do you take time off work for religious purposes?

Exceptions: Employers that have a specific religious orientation might ask questions relevant to religious practices and beliefs. Employers may also contact people and organizations affiliated with your religious beliefs, if you submit them as references.

Illegal Interview Questions about Family Situation

Under the Civil Rights Act and Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers may not discriminate on the basis of family situation, childbirth or pregnancy.

Examples: Do you have small children?
Are you planning to have children soon?
What is your marital status?
What is your maiden name?
Are you pregnant?

Exceptions: Employers may inquire whether you have ever worked under a different name or whether you have personal responsibilities that could interfere with requirements of the job, like travel or overtime hours.

Illegal Interview Questions about Sexual Orientation and Political Affiliation

Presidential Executive Order 11478, in concert with its amendment in Presidential Executive Order 13087, prohibits sexual-orientation discrimination and political-party discrimination in federal government employment.

Are you straight or gay?
How do you feel about working with gay or bisexual people?
Who did you vote for in the last election?
Do you belong to a political party?

Exceptions: The executive order does not bind all employers, but protections exist at least for federal civilian workers.

Illegal Interview Questions about Disabilities and Health

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act, employers may not discriminate on the basis of disability.

Do you have any disabilities or medical conditions?
How serious is your disability?
Do you take any prescription drugs?
Have you ever been in rehab?
Have you ever been an alcoholic?
How many sick days did you take last year?
Do you have AIDS?
Have you been diagnosed with any mental illnesses?
Have you ever received worker's compensation or been on disability leave?

Exceptions: Employers may ask whether you have any conditions that would keep you from performing the specific tasks of the job for which you are applying. They may also require that all job candidates for certain positions pass medical examinations that are relevant to the responsibilities of those jobs. Employers may subject job candidates to drug tests or ask if they take illegal drugs.

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Dealing with Illegal Interview Questions provides general information only and is not intended as legal advice nor as a substitute for legal advice. It is presented as is, with no warranty either expressed or implied. Neither the author nor publisher are engaged in rendering legal services. See an employment lawyer for legal advice. Should you act based on this information, you do so at your sole risk. Neither the author nor publisher shall have any liability arising from your decision to act on this information. Read our Disclaimer for more information.Employment Lawyer

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