The fundamental premise of interviewing a prospective employee is to keep all questions pertinent – that is, only ask questions that assess the candidate’s ability to perform the job. To that end, federal and some state laws prohibit discrimination based on certain protected classifications, including, but not limited to, race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin and sexual orientation.
Test your knowledge of antidiscrimination laws with the following questions:
When interviewing a candidate, can you ask...
- …where the candidate was born?
- …which year the candidate graduated from high school?
- …whether the candidate has ever been arrested?
- …about the candidate’s medical history?
- …if the candidate is willing to work weekends?
- …which holidays the candidate observes?
- …whether the candidate can speak a foreign language if that ability is a job requirement?
The answers are: 1) No; 2) No; 3) No; 4) No; 5) Yes; 6) No; 7) Yes.
Interviewing a prospective employee is just one example of where equal opportunity regulations must be followed in the workplace. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a comprehensive website
that details all federal equal opportunity regulations, practices and policies. If you would like to learn more, visit www.eeoc.gov
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This advice is not intended to be used for, and it cannot be used for, the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties that may be imposed, or for promoting, marketing or recommending to another person, any tax related matter.