Even the most experienced business owners and hiring managers make mistakes during job interviews that could land them and their company in legal how water. When interviewing candidates for a job, interviewers sometimes ask questions that to them seem like no big deal, innocent even, but could be construed as discriminatory.
Here are some tips for how to conduct legally-sound job interviews:
Discussing religion. It’s clear you cannot discriminate based on a person’s religious beliefs. How do you find out then if religious holidays will interfere with their job duties? Be sure to explain during if working weekends is part of the job and ask about their flexibility to work under these conditions.
Health-related questions. You also cannot discriminate against candidates with disabilities and, therefore, should steer clear of health-related questions entirely. If you have doubt about whether the candidate is able to perform certain job functions, you should ask about his or her ability to perform these functions instead of delving into a discussion about their health history.
Avoid questions about family status. Do not ask questions about a job candidate’s marital status or plans to have children. These questions could be troubling to a person in a same sex marriage. Many states prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, and with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor that invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act, it is likely to become a federal issue also.