When an American employer makes assumptions about a candidate’s abilities according to sex, he is likely to ask Gender Based Illegal Interview Questions in US context.Though the employer is well within his rights to enquire into the applicant’s ability to handle the job, yet he cannot ask directly about how being a man or woman could affect performance.
Title VIII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on gender.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. It applies to concerns that employ at least 15 persons.
Such question, reflecting on a person’s capabilities based on gender, is not acceptable. The candidate must not be presumed to have any issues working with the opposite or same sex.
Unless the inquiry is in good faith, .a pre employment inquiry should not ask the candidate to indicate “Male/Female” or “Mr./Mrs./Miss. Employers can inquire if the applicant has worked under a different name or whether the applicant’s has personal responsibilities such as putting in overtime hours that could interfere with requirements of the job. After hiring, employers may ask for marital status and information for dependents on tax and insurance forms only.
Instances of improper questions based on gender:
• What is your marital status?
• How comfortable you are with supervising men/women?
• We've always had a man/woman do this job. How do you think you will fit in?
• Are you married, divorced, separated, engaged, widowed, etc.?
• What is your maiden name?
• Is this your maiden or married name?
• Are you pregnant?
• Do you have small children?
• How many kids do you have?
• Are you planning to have children?
• Do you plan to have a family? When?
• Do you plan on having more children?
• How old are your children?
• What child care arrangements have you made?
• What is the name of your spouse/children?
• How will your spouse feel about the amount of time you will be traveling if you take this job?
• Questions concerning the candidate’s spouse or dependents, or the spouse’s employment, salary are also improper.
An employer may convert controversial questions into harmless legal queries, as below, by seeking comparable information on the capabilities of the applicant in relation to the job applied for.
Examples of proper questions based on gender:
• Male? Female? Or Mr., Mrs., or Miss? (Provided that the inquiry is made in good faith for a non discriminatory purpose.)
• What are the names of relatives already employed by the company or a competitor?
• Employers may ask for the name, address, and phone number of the employee’s emergency contact person?
• What do you have to offer our company?
• What is your previous experience in managing teams?
• Can you work overtime?
• Is there any reason you can’t start at 8:00 a.m.?
• Do you have commitments that may prevent you from meeting attendance requirements?
• Are you willing to relocate, if necessary?
• Can you travel as needed for this job?
• Do you foresee any long-term absences in the future?