What Constitutes Discrimination During a Job Interview?
One of the most common ways that employment discrimination lawsuits arise is by discrimination that happens within the setting of a job interview. There are certain questions or types of treatment that you might encounter during an interview that could be considered discriminatory.
First, be on the lookout for discriminatory questions during an interview. Any types of questions concerning race, religion, country of origin, pregnancy, disability or sexual orientation should be considered off the table in an interview setting. It is considered to be a violation of civil rights for employers to ask questions or evaluate applicants based on anything other than their ability to perform the job in question.
Note that answering a potentially discriminatory question does not preclude you from filing a discrimination lawsuit. In many cases, applicants don’t realize until after they’ve performed the interview that a line of questioning was particularly discriminatory. Even if you answer these questions, you can file a discrimination suit if you were not given the job.
Employers will also likely want to perform a criminal background check, which is perfectly legal. If you have a criminal record with convictions, they are allowed to eliminate you as a candidate for the position. However, employers are not allowed to ask about arrests that did not lead to convictions. If employers take your arrest record into account, it is illegal discrimination.
Finally, there are some situations in which employers might check your credit while screening you. They must get written consent to do this.
If you are unsure about whether an event in your interview process constituted illegal discrimination, consult the team of skilled employment attorneys at the New York offices of Derek T. Smith Law Group, PLLC.