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Questions Your Employer Cannot Legally Ask

Updated on August 30, 2014

There are several questions that an employer cannot ask a potential employee. In lieu of laws put in force to protect a person against discrimination, an employer should be knowledgeable about what they can and cannot ask. To help persuade from discrimination of religion, employers should never ask what church a person goes to or what religion they are. There really is no legal way for them to ask, although this question was on many resumes in Idaho and I now know it is illegal. There were several jobs that I applied for in Idaho that had no compunction to ask about my religious status. An employer could ask about certain days and see if the employee would be able to work. For example, “Our company is open on Good Friday, would you be able to work?”

A person’s national origin and citizenship is also something that cannot be asked directly by an employer. Instead, they would have to ask if you are eligible to work in the United States. In this way, they would know you can legally work, but not know your citizenship status and birthplace. A company cannot ask what language a person speaks in their own home either. They can ask if you speak other languages and what they are, to know if you are multilingual for work purposes. If the any of these questions are not worded right they are illegal to ask.

A company cannot ask question about your marital status or if you have children either. They can merely ask if you are able to locate, if that is part of the job. There also in no way to really ask this question in a legal way. It is none of their business. An employer cannot asl if you rent or own either. They can ask where and how long you have lived there, but not your purchasing status.


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