Naperville Business Lawyer Offers Five Questions You Should Never Ask Potential Employees During Job Interviews

interview, Naperville business law attorneyFor many business owners, hiring and firing staff e are among the most important parts of their job. The employees you choose to help you run your business can make or break you, so the stakes could not be higher. When it comes to interviewing potential job candidates, you probably have a number of questions in mind to ask prospective employees. However, some interview questions can land you in serious legal trouble. Below are five interview questions that you should never ask when hiring a new employee.

Dangerous Question #1: How Old Are You?

When you are choosing someone to join your company, the main thing your should be ascertaining during the interview is whether or not the candidate can successfully perform the job duties and positively influence your business. You may be curious about the candidate’s age but asking an interviewee how old he or she is can potentially lead to accusations that you violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Indirect age questions, such as inquiries about a candidate’s high school graduation year, should also be avoided. The only age-related question you can legally ask is “If you are hired, can you provide proof that you are over 18 years of age?”

Dangerous Question #2: What is Your Race or National Origin?

A job candidate’s race, skin color, or nationality should never be a factor in hiring decisions. Asking a job candidate about his or her ethnic background or what country he or she was born in can lead to a discrimination lawsuit. You are only permitted to ask candidates if, upon hire, they can provide proof of their legal right to work in the U.S.

Dangerous Question #3: What is Your Religious Affiliation?

This is another question that can quickly lead to an employment discrimination claim. If the reason you are asking a potential employee about religious views is because the job requires the employee to work Sunday mornings or Saturdays, simply ask if the employee is able to work those days.

Dangerous Question #4: Are You Married or Do You Have Children?

Although it may seem like innocent small talk to ask an interviewee if he or she is married or has children, employers should not ask these questions. It is against the law for an employer to deny a job candidate employment because he or she has children or is planning to have children. It is also illegal to discriminate on the basis of marital status. The best way to avoid any allegations of discrimination is to simply avoid these types of questions.

Dangerous Question #5: Do You Drink?

An employer may have concerns about a potential employee’s drinking habits due to problems with a past employee or for other reasons. However, you should not ask an employee if he or she consumes alcohol. Asking about alcohol use or alcohol addiction treatment is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Contact an Illinois Business Law Attorney

If you own a business and you would like help remaining compliant with discrimination laws, litigating employment disputes, and more, contact the Gierach Law Firm. Call our office at 630-756-1160 today to set up a confidential consultation with a skilled DuPage County business lawyer.


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