I have been a LPN for two years and have worked in both home health and long term care. I've decided to try a new avenue with my career and have been applying to some physician's offices. Today, I had an interview at a Dermatology clinic. It seems like a nice office, with two doctors and a physician's assistant, and the manager said they stay very busy. The position would be full-time, with benefits, with a reasonable rate of pay.
Everything seemed to go well with the interview, but I was caught off guard by a couple of questions that were asked and now, looking back, I'm wondering if I even should have answered the questions. The practice manager (who is a medical assistant) was asking me how flexible I am able to be with regards to working hours (staying late, coming in early, coming in on days off, etc.), which is a fine and reasonable question. However, she the went on to bluntly and directly ask me, "Do you have children?" I've never been asked that in an interview before, so I stammered for a second, and then I went on to tell her the truth, that yes, I do have two children. She then proceeded to ask their ages (they're 8 & 7) and even went on to ask if I have appropriate childcare lined up (of course I do--I'm already working in a nursing home!). After I answered, she went on to explain that the reason she asked is because she had an employee last year who had to be terminated for excessive absences due to her children being ill, the babysitter calling off at the last minute, etc. and that she doesn't want to go down that road again.
Now, I can understand where she's coming from. I realize that they need someone who can be reliable, dependable, flexible, etc. But I'm not sure if she knows that asking someone directly, "Do you have children?" or "Are you married?" during a job interview is actually ILLEGAL. I was talking to my brother, who owns his own company and has conducted many interviews, and he told me to check the labor board website because there's a list of "illegal" questions that employers are not allowed to ask you during an interview. Sure enough, nearly every question she asked me was on that list. To my understanding, it can put them at risk of a discrimination suit if they ask those questions and then choose not to hire someone.
Honestly, I do not feel like I'm even going to get a call back after the interview. I felt like it went downhill after she started asking me about my personal life (marriage, kids, childcare, etc.). I did not really feel comfortable discussing those things with her during the interview, so my answers became rather short and guarded. I'm just not sure if I handled this correctly. Should I report this to someone if I don't get hired? How can I prove that she "discriminated" against me for having children, instead of just hiring a more qualified person? Would it be better, if this problem ever arises in future interviews, to just point out right then and there that I don't wish to discuss my family life during the interview? Has anyone else ever had this same issue? Thanks!