employment discrimination

In Focus: Discrimination During a Job Interview

Many are aware that employment discrimination is illegal, but what happens if you experience discrimination in a job interview? Despite federal, state, and local laws that prohibit discrimination during the hiring process, job candidates are often subjected to discrimination based on their race, age, sex, national origin, disability, or other legally protected characteristics.

If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination during a job interview, an employment lawyer can help protect your rights. This blog post explores discrimination during a job interview and how you can fight back.

Employment Discrimination Can Occur At Any Phase of the Employment Relationship

Employers in Chicago are not only prohibited from discriminating against employees, but also against prospective candidates during the hiring process. On application forms and during interviews, state and federal law bar employers from asking certain questions about whether an applicant is a member of a protected class. 

For example, other than ensuring you are over 18 years old and for limited uses (i.e. to run a background check), employers should not be asking questions related to your age during an interview. They should also not be asking questions about an applicant’s disability or perceived disability. If your disability is obvious (e.g you use a wheelchair), the interviewer is permitted to ask whether you require a reasonable accommodation. If the employer makes a conditional job offer, it may inquire further as to your disability.

What are my rights during a job interview?

You should be prepared to answer experience and skill-related questions during a job interview, but there is no excuse for questions that imply decisions are being made based on one’s inclusion in a protected class. If you believe you have been discriminated against during a job interview, an experienced employment lawyer can help you explore your legal options. 

Although employers sometimes conceal their discriminatory motives and hiring practices,  having an attorney in your corner will level the playing field and pursue an employment discrimination claim if necessary. An experienced trial lawyer will:

  • Conduct an extensive investigation 
  • Collect important evidence (e.g. job applications, emails, internal memos)
  • Identify and interview witnesses to corroborate your side of the story
  • Handle all communications with the prospective employer’s counsel
  • Negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement
  • File an employment discrimination lawsuit if necessary

Above all, an employment law attorney will protect your rights during an employment interview and help you obtain the compensation or outcome you deserve.

The Takeaway

If you have been discriminated against during a job interview, you probably have concerns about your employment prospects and your future. The best way to address those concerns is to consult with an experienced employment litigation attorney.