Equal Employment Opportunity Law and Your Job Interview

June 18th, 2013

Have you ever been in an interview situation and wondered if a particular question was discriminatory? Further, just how you should you address those off-limit questions?

Take a few minutes to brush up on your rights as mandated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

What are your rights?

Equal Pay Act of 1963:requires employers to give men and women in the same workplace equal pay for equal work.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.

The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974:requires employers with federal contracts or subcontracts to hire and promote individuals who served in the military during the Vietnam era for 180 or more days. The Vietnam Era years are 1964-1991.See EEOC for more details.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and 2008 Amendment Act: prohibits discrimination based on disabilities.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008: prohibits discrimination in group health plan coverage based on genetic information.

The Age Discrimination Act:prohibits employment discrimination against persons aged 40 years or older.

Additionally in 2011, the EEOC included discrimination based on sexual orientation as illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 2012, the EEOC expanded protection provided by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to transgender status and gender identity.

How the Americans with Disabilities Act ties in

If you are covered under the ADA know your rights.

Per the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. Department of Labor, the ADA requires reasonable accommodation in the hiring process.

The following are examples of reasonable accommodations according to the EEOC

  • providing written materials in accessible formats, such as large print, braille, or audiotape
  • providing readers or sign language interpreters
  • ensuring that recruitment, interviews, tests, and other components of the application process are held in accessible locations
  • providing or modifying equipment or devices
  • adjusting or modifying application policies and procedures

Discriminatory practices

Seemingly benign questions in an interview setting can be a violation of employment laws. Examples would be direct questions about age, your marital and family status, religion, or country of origin. Potential employers also cannot ask if you have disabilities or if you smoke or drink.

When you go into an interview keep in mind your rights as listed above.

So how do you handle those questions? It’s always best to gracefully defer to a statement about your skills and qualifications for the job.

If you feel you are being discriminated against in the interview or hiring process, document the interviewer’s name and title. Follow up with their direct supervisor. If you are not satisfied with the outcome do contact your local EEOC field office.

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One Response to “Equal Employment Opportunity Law and Your Job Interview”

  1. Spencer Crose Says:

    nice post ++++++ thanks thumbs up 🙂

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