Illegal Interview Questions in US Based On Race, Color and Origin
Illegal interview questions in US based on race, color or origin arise since no job related consideration justifies questions based on such parameters according to the provisions of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws employment discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin. Race discrimination covers distinction on considerations of ancestry, typical physical characteristics of a certain race, such as facial features skin color, hair texture or styles. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there are no job-related considerations that would justify question based on race.
Employers are not entitled to ask questions on race, country of origin and ethnic background. An employer cannot discriminate a potential employee on these criteria, which are not related to the job requirements. Such interview questions that single out the applicant on these personal attributes like age, disability, gender, marital status and so on are in contravention of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act and anti discrimination laws. Moreover, also under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 inquiry into an applicants race, origin and color that advance discriminatory purposes are illegal. Where the employer refuses to hire the applicant based on answers to such illegal questions, he is guilty of breaking the anti discrimination laws.
An aggrieved applicant can lodge complaint under the Equal Employment Opportunity Act with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the redress of his grievances. An employer held guilty in this connection will be liable in damages.
Instead of inquiring into citizenship it would rather be advisable for the employer to know if the candidate is authorized to work in the US. Any query into native language may offend candidates who are sensitive to the common perceptions about their mother tongue. It is also not prudent for the employer to ask about the residency of the applicant directly.
Instances of improper questions based on race or color:
What is your skin color?
What is your race?
Do you belong to a minority group?
What is color of your eyes or hair?
Request for photo before hiring is improper.
What is the race or nationality of your spouse?
Examples of proper questions based on race or color:
An employer may request the applicant to voluntarily disclose his race for affirmative action programs.
Photos may be requested after hiring for identification.
Examples of improper questions based on origin:
It seems you have an accent; where are you from?
How long have you lived here?
What is your nationality?
What is your heritage?
Where were you born?
What is your native tongue?
How did you acquire the ability to speak, read, or write a foreign language?
How did you acquire familiarity with a foreign country?
What language is spoken in your home?
Are you an American citizen? Are you a citizen of the United States?
Are your parents or spouse citizens of the United States?
Are you, your parents, or your spouse naturalized or native-born U.S. citizens?
Where are your parents from?
Examples of proper questions based on origin:
What is your present address and phone number?
Do you have any alternative locations where you can be reached?
Are you authorized to work in the United States?
What is your visa status?
Are you able to provide proof of employment eligibility upon hire?
What languages do you speak, read, or write fluently? Where relevant to the job.)