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Business Sense | Top 10 Illegal Interview Questions – Times-Standard

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Need to hire more employees fast? Don’t go blind by hiring in a hurry! Asking the wrong questions in an interview or inappropriately discussing a candidate’s private life can expose the company to costly lawsuits. Here is a list of the top 10 interview do’s you should never ask.

  1. How old are you?
  2. are you married?
  3. do you have kids?
  4. are you pregnant Are you planning to have children soon?
  5. Do you have a disability or health problem?
  6. How much do you weigh?
  7. What is your race/nationality?
  8. what is your religion Do you celebrate religious holidays?
  9. what is your sexual orientation?
  10. Do you use drugs, alcohol, or smoke?

No dispute — it’s a settled law! These interview questions violate protected class status as defined in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law specifically states that no person will be denied employment based on sex, race, color, religion, or national origin. The law has recently been expanded to cover sexual orientation/gender identity conditions, with his three additions: the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The law also prohibits these issues.

Lifestyle questions are dangerous territory! Interview questions about drugs, alcohol, or smoking/e-cigarette use are considered lifestyle questions. An employer’s intent may be to discover whether a candidate is using illegal drugs, but it is also important to ask candidates whether they are taking prescription drugs or have a history of using illegal drugs. Remember, asking is prohibited under state and federal disability discrimination laws. Additionally, there are laws banning smoking and drinking in most workplaces and public places. Prohibition of drugs, alcohol and smoking/vaping in the workplace can be covered by policies in the company handbook.

BFOQ Exception: Questions about age, gender, religion and sexual orientation are off limits — employers can make hiring decisions based on protected class unless they qualify as bona fide professional qualifications — only then — and only if you have to. in a particular business. Examples of BFOQ can be found in the airline industry. An airline pilot should retire at the age of 65. This is because documented research shows that age-related production declines and performance becomes a public safety risk.

Good Interview Questions: Employers need to know if an applicant can show up every day, complete all tasks, perform duties, and cover work shifts. Ask questions that focus on job description performance. These questions and the candidate’s answers should reveal if they can do the job.

  1. Are you comfortable performing the following tasks?
  2. Is there anything stopping you from working the next shift?
  3. I need coverage for the following periods (hours, days, seasons), does that matter?
  4. This job is physically demanding. Can you effectively manage all your duties?

Don’t ask “why?” follow-up questions.

No one should ever need to know why a candidate cannot commit to the above performance standards. Candidates may also make inappropriate disclosures when asked about “why not?” These disclosures can lead to unfavorable hiring decisions and lead to discrimination lawsuits.

Tomas Chavez is the Director of Human Resources at Sequoia Personal Services.