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Job application red flags: Is it discrimination?


When applying for a job, most job applicants are focused on making a great first impression.

What applicants may not be focused on is the potential that the prospective employer is breaking the law.

Discrimination in the hiring process

There are things that employers cannot do during the application process.

Job applicants are protected from discrimination and harassment in the hiring process. This means that a potential employer cannot ask questions to find out about an employee's age, gender identity, race, national origin, religion, disability, association to a disabled loved one, pregnancy or inclusion in another protected class.

Examples of job application discrimination

Here are just a few examples of potential discrimination in the application and hiring process:

  • Asking about a disability: An employer cannot ask a job applicant if he or she is disabled or if he or she has a certain medical condition.
  • Asking about graduation dates: An employer cannot ask a job applicant when he or she graduated from high school or college. This may be an indication of age discrimination.
  • Asking about family: An employer cannot ask a potential employee about his or her marital status or whether he or she has children or dependents.
  • Requesting a photograph: Requesting photographs of job applicants could be an indication that an employer is discriminating on the basis of age or race, for example.
  • Encouraging certain demographic groups to apply: Encouraging certain groups to apply, such as "recent graduates". This may be a sign of age discrimination.

It is illegal for an employer to make hiring decisions based on discriminatory reasons. If this has happened, the applicant may have legal options.

Free consultation: If you have experienced discrimination in the hiring or referral process, learn about your legal options from an employment law attorney at Bononi Law Group, LLP. Call 866-295-7512.

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