Illegal Interview Questions - page 2
by TheCommuter 8,770 Views | 20 Comments Senior Moderator
The interview process can be daunting and downright stressful to some candidates because there are so many questions that the interviewer might ask. However, keep in mind that there are many illegal questions that the interviewer... Read More
- 1Jul 15, '12 by JolieQuote from hope3456First of all, anyone can sue for anything, and sometimes people do. But suing for wrongful termination is rarely successful unless a solid case can be built that an employee's rights have been violated and/or a contract willingly breeched. Most states are employment-at-will states, meaning that either the employee or employer can break the working relationship at any time for any reason OTHER than those protected by law, such as age, religion, national origin, disability. I highlight this because many workers want to ignore that this is a 2-way street. They want to be able to punish their employer if they don't like the way they are treated, but rarely consider the way that they treat their employer and co-workers as part of the deal.On another note I have been hearing about a lot of health care workers lately being 'asked to resign' or 'seek other employment and then give resignation.'Are there legal implications to this? Someone said never do this b/c you are better off to get fired so you can then file unemployment or sue for wrongful termination?
It is a commonly held belief that resigning from a position automatically renders one ineligible for unemployment compensation, while being involuntarily terminated assures one of unemployment benefits. This is an oversimplification of the truth.
When an employee willfully resigns for reasons such as returning to school, moving, staying home to provide care to a child/family member, or taking another job, the employer is usually absolved of any responsibility to provide unemployment benefits to the former employee.
When an employee is fired for gross and/or willful misconduct, the employer is usually likewise off the hook for unemployment.
Anything between (especially if there is a disagreement between employer and employee) is a gray area subject to interpretation by an unemployment judge.
So sometimes, an employee will resign, yet still be able to collect unemployment. Sometimes and employee will be involuntarily terminated, yet be unable to collect. It really depends upon the series of events leading up to the dismissal.
Was the employee beyond his/her probationary period? If there were problems with the employee's performance, were they well documented? Did the employee receive adequate training and supervision? Were there corrective actions documented? What was the employee's response to these re-teaching or re-training sessions? These are just some of the factors that an unemployment judge will consider in making a decision.
As an employer, I can assure you that we don't take lightly the decision to terminate an employee. Recruiting, interviewing and hiring is an expensive process. It is usually easier and cheaper to work with an employee, even very intensively, than it is to fire someone and start over. By the time we reach the point of dismissing an employee, we have a mound of paperwork to document the process. Unless we believe the employee to be truly dangerous, we might consider allowing that person to resign rather than be fired. Not because it will impact his/her unemployment eligibility. It won't. Our documentation will support our side in court, but because they can then truthfully answer potential employers' questions that they left the job voluntarily. I won't mislead a future employer in giving a reference, but nor do I want our experience to place a black mark on that person's applications at other jobs where s/he may be a better fit.
Make sense? Or clear as mud
- 0Jul 15, '12 by TheCommuter Senior ModeratorQuote from JolieI can personally attest to this, since I have collected unemployment benefits twice after voluntarily resigning.So sometimes, an employee will resign, yet still be able to collect unemployment.
I was 18 years old and working at a fast food place during the first occurrence. One of the shift supervisors would make inappropriate, vulgar comments to me while using lots of slang and cursing. He was not a gang member, but he was fascinated with the gang culture, so he fronted with a tough-guy persona. The unemployment department decided that I resigned due to a hostile work environment, and I was awarded benefits.
I was 23 years old and had worked at a factory for three years at the time of the second occurrence. The factory was in coastal southern California, which is a very expensive place to live. I lived 120 miles away, in another part of the state with a lower cost of living. After one year of commuting, I gave up and quit the job. The unemployment judge decided I had explored all feasible options prior to resigning, and I was awarded benefits.
- 0Jul 15, '12 by TheCommuter Senior ModeratorQuote from luv2Although these questions are illegal, this fact does not stop some interviewers from asking them. The bottom line is that the questions are still illegal.I do not think so because most interviews I go on ask the majority of these questions.
Some interviewers will ask this stuff outright, especially if they think the candidate does not know any better or is too unsophistocated to know that the questions are not legal.
Other interviewers will make the queries in a roundabout, sneaky manner. Back in 2009, one manager asked, "So, where are you from?" This question was illegal because it can reveal personal information about race, national origin, etc.
Another DON said to me, "So, do you want to discuss this with your husband before making a decision?" I was not married, but perhaps she made the statement to covertly learn more information about my family setup and living situation.
A recruiter said to me during an interview, "The insurance will be free for you, but not for any spouse or dependents that you add." Again, this may have been a sneaky attempt to glean some insight into members of my household.
BTW, I'm a single female with no spouse or kids who was born and raised in southern California, but now lives in TX.
- 0Jul 16, '12 by whoa-nowThe last employer I worked for had me sign a "full disclosure" document as part of the application process. Also on some applications there is a clause that states "this or that company" has permission to have full disclosure of information that may, or may noy pertain to the position applied for and then you have to sign the application. Does this give them permission then to delve into anything and evertythng about you. Whether it be to ask you the applicant (or employee), or to talk to others about you?
- 0Jul 16, '12 by TheCommuter Senior ModeratorQuote from whoa-nowThis still does not give the interviewer the right to ask illegal questions. However, if you sign the disclosure statement, you might have to reveal personal information that will enable them to conduct a background check, such as a date of birth, social security number, and address history for the past seven years.The last employer I worked for had me sign a "full disclosure" document as part of the application process. Also on some applications there is a clause that states "this or that company" has permission to have full disclosure of information that may, or may noy pertain to the position applied for and then you have to sign the application. Does this give them permission then to delve into anything and evertythng about you. Whether it be to ask you the applicant (or employee), or to talk to others about you?
Click on the link below to see a sample of a disclosure document.
- 0Jul 16, '12 by TheCommuter Senior ModeratorQuote from adnrnstudentEleven years ago, when I was 20 years old, I was offered a job at a factory. The offer was contingent upon passing a pre-employment physical exam.I will never understand why pre-employment physicals are legal.
The exam took about 30 minutes and determined my ability to simulate the repetitive moves that I would be making at the factory. I had to demonstrate my ability to lift 50 pounds, lift strangely-shaped objects, push, pull, and all sorts of stuff.
I worked at the factory for three years, and in hindsight, I now see why they required the physical exam. The job at the factory was brutally physical, and there's no way a person could hack it if they could not lift, push, and pull.
Jobs that require a great deal of physical labor should, in my opinion, require pre-employment physicals. However, more sedentary positions have no need for physical exams prior to employment.