Employers continue to ask questions about age, marital status in job interviews
- Americans report that they're being asked questions about age and marital status, among other things, in job interviews, according to ABC News.
- Thirty-five percent of the those in a recent poll had been asked about their age; the same percentage were asked about marital status, ABC News says. The study also found that 21% of respondents were asked about their medical history or if they had a disability, 11% were asked if they or their partner were pregnant or plan to have children, and 9% were asked about their religious practices.
- The findings are the result of a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. It polled 1,054 adults.
The poll demonstrates the importance of properly training individuals involved in the hiring process. While some of the questions reported in the poll aren't per se violations of federal law, they can serve as evidence of discrimination later. And other questions, like those about disability and medical history, can violate federal law just by being asked.
Employers also must ensure that individuals responsible for interviewing job candidates are up-to-date on state and local laws. Several, for example, forbid businesses from asking applicants about pay history. Job applications must be compliant, too.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers employers some assistance with these education efforts in its Prohibited Employment Policies/Practices under "Pre-Employment Inquiries."