Interview Questions Legal
PRE-EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEWS AND QUESTIONS
Women are often curious as to whether employers are allowed to ask questions about their family and personal lives and their plans to have families. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Even though women actually do assume most of the caretaking responsibilities in the majority of families, employers are not allowed to treat female workers less favorable merely on the gender-based assumption that a particular female worker will assume caretaking responsibilities or that those responsibilities will interfere with her work. Fortunately, there is a federal law that prohibits employers from asking gender-stereotyped questions of employees in the interview stage. Additionally, some states have laws that govern this issue as well.
What are Employers Generally Prohibited from Asking?
What Is the Applicable Federal Law?
What is Gender Stereotyping?
What Does a Job Applicant Need to Show in Order to Prove an Employer Violated Title VII by Stereotyping Against Them Based on Their Gender?
What Can a Job Applicant do or say if an Employer Asks a Gender Stereotyping Question?
· An employee can and should ask the employer’s question has anything to do with the requirements of the job. They are not required to answer any questions that they feel are discriminatory in nature.
What Should a Job Applicant do if They Think That an Employer has Made an Employment Decision Based on Gender Stereotyping?
Does it Matter Where the Job Applicant Lives?
 Information obtained from Rebecca Pontikes, Esq. She is an employment lawyer in Boston, MA, at the firm of Davis, Pontikes and Swartz.
 42 U.S.C.A 1981, Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, (1989)
 Tracy L. Bach, Gender Stereotyping in Employment Discrimination: Finding a Balance of Evidence, and Causation Under Title VII, 77 Minn. L. Rev. 1251, 1254 (May 1993)
 Heather K. Gerken, Understanding Mixed Motives Claims Under The Civil Rights Act of 1991: AN Analysis of Intentional DIscrimiantion Claims Based on Sex-Stereotyped Interview Question, 91 Mich. L. Rev. 1824, 1826-1827 (June 1993).
 Id. at 1827.
 Bach at 1266, citing Price Waterhouse, 490 U.S. at 244.
 Price Waterhouse, 490 U.S. at 250.
 Bach at 1266-1267, citing Price Waterhouse 490 U.S. at 245.
 Barbano v. Madison County, 922 F.2d. 139 (2d Cir. 1990). In this case, Barbano brought suit after being turned down for a director position at the Madison County Veterans Service Agency. In her interview, one member of the committee told her that “he would not consider some woman for the position” He also asked about her childbearing plans and whether her husband would approve of her transporting male veterans. She pointed out that the question were discriminatory, but none of the interviewers agreed, nor did anything to stop it. The court found that the questions were discriminatory and irrelevant.
 King v. Trans World Airlines, Inc, 738 F.2d 255 (8th Cir, 1984). In this case, the plaintiff met her burden of persuasion under Title VII by demonstrating that the interviewer asked questions about pregnancy, childbearing, and child care and did not pose similar questions of male applicants, thereby treating her differently during the hiring process.
 Bruno v. City of Crown Point, 50 F.2d. 35 (7th Cir. 1991), cert. denied 122 S. Ct. 2998 (1992). The lower court found sex discrimination under Title VII, but the Seventh Circuit reversed, finding that there was no substantial evidence that her sex was a determining factor in the decision to hire a man instead of Bruno.
 Stukey v. United States Air Force, 790 F. Supp. 165 (S.D. Ohio 1992).
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