What Pre-Employment Questions Are Employers Not Allowed To Ask?

When you apply for a job an employer will question you to find out if you are qualified for the job. Therefore, only asking pre-employment questions that help determine if you qualified for to that the job are acceptable.

Unfortunately, not all employers stick to asking only relevant questions. Oftentimes they'll ask questions or make inquiries that have nothing to do with the job in order to screen out individuals who have characteristics they find undesirable. What's worse is that there are no laws against employers to prohibit them doing this based on applicant's race, sex, color, national origin, age, or religion.

Applicant's may use these questions as evidence against an employer for discrimination, however, employers may argue that the questions serve some sort of business purpose.

Basically,  it's recommended that employers avoid these questions that don't help them determine if an applicant is qualified for a job, but if they do ask inquiring questions about race, sex, color, national origin, age or religion, it's difficult for applicant's to make a case against them.

The only exception is disability. Employers cannot inquire about an applicant's disability before providing a job offer.

According to the EEOC, here are some pre-employment inquiries that employers should not make:

  • Asking for photographs prior to a job offer;
  • Asking about race, height, weight, or gender;
  • Asking about citizenship;
  • Asking about marital status or how many children a person has;
  • Asking about unemployed status;
  • Doing a background check;
  • Inquiring about religious affiliations/beliefs;
  • Asking about disability or medical questions and examinations.

For more information, visit the EEOC.


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