Illegal Interview Questions and Female Applicants | Mann & Elias
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Illegal Interview Questions and Female Applicants


When many women apply for jobs, they often face significant obstacles before they are ever hired. During an interview, many employers will choose to ignore federal law and insist on asking various types of illegal interview questions. When this occurs, it creates an awkward situation for the applicant. Whether asking about a woman’s marital life, family background, or plans for having children, any of this is considered illegal due to anti-discrimination laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If you believe you have been asked such questions that ultimately impacted your ability to be hired, contact a Los Angeles employment lawyer at Mann Elias.

Anti-Discrimination Laws

Along with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there are other laws aimed at protecting female job applicants. These include the Americans with Disabilities Act, Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. In addition, most states also have anti-discrimination laws in place enforced by Fair Employment Practices agencies. Rather than allow gender discrimination in the workplace to hinder your career plans, speak with a gender discrimination attorney at Mann Elias.

Examples of Illegal Interview Questions

When having a job interview, there are many types of questions that may be illegal if asked. Some of the most common include:

  • Are you single, married, or divorced?
  • Are you planning to get pregnant?
  • Are you currently taking birth control?
  • What does your spouse do for a living?
  • Do you prefer Ms., Miss, or Mrs.?

While some of these questions may sound innocent, the fact is an employer asking these questions likely has a bias of some nature. Instead of letting someone’s bias and illegal interviewing techniques cost you a job, contact gender discrimination lawyers at Mann Elias.

Appropriate Interview Questions

During the course of your interview, there are questions considered perfectly acceptable to be asked and for you to answer. These include:

  • Are there any restrictions limiting your ability to travel?
  • Do you have commitments that would conflict with your work schedule?
  • Do you anticipate being absent on a regular basis?

When asked these questions, never be afraid to be honest. Yet if you still feel as if something was not right during your interview, consult with a Los Angeles employment lawyer at Mann Elias.

How to Handle Illegal Questions

When asked an illegal interview question, you can handle it in various ways, such as:

  • Answer and move on
  • Ask why the question is relevant to the job
  • Address the underlying concern connected to the question
  • Express being uncomfortable with the question and refuse to answer

Depending on your reply, an employer may hold it against you unfairly. Should this happen, contact gender discrimination lawyers at Mann Elias for assistance.

In situations where you are victimized by gender discrimination in the workplace, always hold an employer accountable for their actions. To ensure your career plans are not derailed by the biases of another person, schedule a consultation as soon as possible with a gender discrimination attorney at Mann Elias.


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