Hiring Discrimination: What You Need to Know


A woman experiencing hiring discrimination during an interview
Getting a job can prove to be difficult. It involves dozens of applications to different companies— and that is if a company has already been found. Most of the time, merely finding the right company can also be demanding. With all these arduous factors, if an employer exhibits discrimination, it complicates the job search process even more.
Fortunately, discrimination in the workplace is deemed unlawful under federal law, and any employer proven to have had exhibited any form of discrimination is liable in court. Discriminatory employment practices should not exist in job hiring scenarios. Here are some facts to know about hiring discrimination and the things to recognize if any form of discrimination is happening.

What is hiring discrimination?

There are many types of employment discrimination. Wrongful termination and non-promotion of an employee because of his or her race, color, or religion are some examples of employment discrimination. These occur within different parts of the employment process, from the application stage up to when someone is already an employee.

Hiring discrimination, on the one hand, happens when hiring managers are refusing to hire due to his or her prejudice on any certain demographic, whether it be age, sex, race, class, religion and the like. Hiring discrimination occurs even after the hiring process is done or an employee is about to be hired.

How would you know if an employer is discriminating?

Discrimination before an interview meeting

Even before an application has been filed, a job seeker may have already been discriminated. Without even directly interacting with the employers, an applicant may have previously been denied a job just because of a particular demographic trait. Under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), unless these specific characteristics are required or interfere with the job, this is deemed illegal.

Therefore, it is unlawful for employers to base hiring decisions on stereotypes or assumptions about an applicant’s age, sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, class, or disability. Below are some ways wherein employers may have exhibited discrimination against these certain demographics.

Job Ads

Under EEOC rules, job advertisements are required to be impartial. Thus, the law prohibits advertisements to show either preference or disfavor towards certain people from applying for employment. Applicants must not be required to possess a specific race, sex, age, religion, etc. For instance, a company posting a help-wanted ad looking for males may discourage women from applying.

Recruitment

Employers’ employment recruitment tactics should also be equal. This means that having recruited in such a way that has excluded, whether intentionally or unintentionally, certain demographics from applying may also be deemed unlawful. For example, an employer’s word of mouth recruitment tactic to his or her predominantly Caucasian workforce, which has resulted in the hiring of predominantly Caucasian hires, is considered discriminatory.

Application

All job applicants have the right to be treated fairly. Thus, employers are barred from denying applicants of a particular race, sex, religion, etc. of any form or applications needed for employment in the company.

Discrimination during interviews

Arguably the period in the job application process where discrimination is most prevalent, the interview meeting is where job applicants may blatantly recognize whether a hiring manager is indeed discriminatory.

Similar to discrimination even before interview meetings, queries about an applicant’s age, sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, class, or disability are still strictly advised to be off limits.

Discriminatory Questions

Discriminatory questions solicit information from applicants that are either sensitive or not necessary in assessing a candidate’s abilities and qualifications. Anything in excess of that may be charged with a lawsuit on discrimination, according to the EEOC. Below are some topics that should not be asked during a hiring interview:

Age Discrimination

Although some jobs legally require specific age restrictions such as working in bars, more often than not, asking for someone’s age or inquiries such date of birth or high school graduation year is considered discriminatory.

Sex, Sexual Orientation, or Gender Identity

It is unlawful for employers to discriminate based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity of an applicant. With the legal recourse for heterosexual male and females already well-documented, for individuals of the LGBTQ community, some states entitle them to proper legal retaliation upon experiencing workplace discrimination.

Race or Color

A sensitive topic to ask about, inquiries about race are almost always not acceptable unless a bona fide occupational qualification such as a character role that requires only certain races to portray them.

Religion

Questions about religion are not permitted as religion isn’t a signifier of the capabilities an applicant has for a job.

Marital status

With marital status as well, the trait does not signify one’s abilities for a job. Thus, no direct and specific questions are allowed.

Disability

Unless physical fitness is required for the job, an employer must not hold a disability against an applicant. An employer must also not inquire about an applicant’s disability unless it could genuinely interfere with job performance.

Family Status

It is no way acceptable to inquire about matters about an applicant’s family life. Questions about intent to have children, home life, or family commitments should be avoided.

Citizenship, Ethnicity, or National Origin

Questions that are acceptable to be asked are inquiries regarding legal work eligibility in the United States, proof of citizenship, visa, alien registration, or English proficiency that are requirements both in legal and work skill matters. Any other questions beyond the aforementioned, unless required for the job, should be avoided.

Seek legal assistance for hiring discrimination lawsuits

Discrimination in workplace situations, especially during the hiring stage, is always tricky. For starters, the simple act of trying to find out whether an applicant’s capabilities are even indeed enough for a job and was not hired due to discrimination is a complicated case.

Furthermore, not getting hired for a position does not guarantee that an applicant has been discriminated. Employers and hiring managers have the right to employ whoever they deem best. Thus there are times when an applicant is simply not suitable for the job or not what the company is looking for at the moment.

To indeed find out the truth, hiring a legal specialist such as an employment discrimination attorney is your best recourse. The attorneys at the Mesriani Law Group will know just what to do as they have spent their careers litigating employment discrimination cases in Los Angeles and other parts of California. Secure the proper compensation you deserve with their assistance.


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