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Questions employers aren’t allowed to ask

In 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received over 6500 charges of employment discrimination filed from Texas. This was the lowest total recorded for Texas in over a decade. Texas has accounted for over 9% of all employment discrimination charges filed with the EEOC since 2009. The most common charges filed involve retaliation and discrimination based on race, sex or age. According to the EEOC, several potentially discriminating questions are illegal for employers to ask during an interview.

Illegal interview questions

Employers are prohibited from asking questions about personal characteristics protected under the law, like race, religion, sex, color, age or national origin. During the interview process, employers may not question applicants about church, languages spoken at home, racial identity, or age. Employers may only ask about age if it pertains to legal requirements related to the job. Interviewers are also prohibited from asking for an applicant’s height and weight, questions must be focused on their ability to work.

More on illegal interview questions

Employers are also barred from asking if an applicant is pregnant or planning on starting a family. Employment discrimination laws also prohibit employers from asking if an applicant is disabled or taking any medications. It is also illegal for employers to ask if an applicant has ever filed a workers’ compensation claim before. Employers are allowed to ask an applicant with an obvious or disclosed disability if they will need assistance or accommodation with the interview process or work environment.

Employers can ask if an applicant is legally authorized to work in the U.S., but they cannot ask about citizenship or visa status. Interviewers are also barred from asking questions about gender, sexual orientation or an applicant’s relationship status. Employers are also prohibited from asking if an applicant has children. The aforementioned questions could be grounds for filing an employment discrimination lawsuit against an employer.