Employers must comply with federal and state discrimination laws and any other relevant laws during the hiring process. During an interview, employers cannot ask inappropriate questions that would violate any of these laws. If they do ask an improper question and decline to offer you a job, an experienced New Jersey employment lawyer can demand compliance with the appropriate law.
Federal and state discrimination laws
Many federal, state, large employers, unions, and other organizations are required to comply with the following laws:
- The U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of this law prohibits discrimination based on someone’s race, national origin, sex, or religion.
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This law addresses discrimination based on pregnancy or childbirth.
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act. If you are over 40, employers cannot discriminate against based on your age.
- The Americans with Disability Act/Rehabilitation Act. Covered employees are forbidden from treating you poorly or refusing to give you a job if you physical or mental disability, provided you are able to perform that job’s duties.
- The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. Covered employers cannot discriminate based on a prior bankruptcy.
- Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Employers with three employees or more cannot engage in discriminatory actions based on your country of origin.
New Jersey does not allow discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, civil union status, an atypical hereditary condition, or any of the more standard discrimination categories (race, sex, country of origin, disability, or age).
What questions can’t be asked
During a job interview, an employer should not ask:
- Do you have a disability?
- What religion are you affiliated with?
- What political party do you belong to?
- What is your ethnicity, color, or race?
- What is your age?
- What was your name before you were married?
- Do you have a spouse?
- Do you owe anybody money?
- Did you receive anything other than an honorary military discharge?
- Are you planning to have children?
Possible legal remedies
If you think you were denied a job because of the way you answered an improper interview question, you may have a legal claim against the employer. The claim may include:
- A demand that you be hired or that you be paid the amount you would have reasonably earned
- Legal fees and court costs
- Any statutory damages set forth in the law that was violated
- Interest from the date you should have been hired
If you feel you have been treated unfairly by your current employer or prospective employer call us to schedule a free case review.
You work hard to get an education or learn a trade. You deserve to be hired on your talents and qualifications for the job. If you are denied employment because of how you look, where you came from, or illegal criteria, the New Jersey lawyers at Aiello Harris Law Firm can explain your rights and options. We can file appropriate actions in court, before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or other appropriate New Jersey agency. For help now, please phone us at (908) 561-5577 or complete our contact form to arrange a consultation.