The Houston Employment Law Blog - Find Houston Employment Lawyers

Interviewing for a Job? Know Your Legal Rights

The economy is getting better and for many, that means they'll be hitting the job market for the first time in a long time.

The first step to landing a new job is to apply and interview for the position. But did you know that employment discrimination can arise even before you set foot in an interview room?

Some forms of discrimination are blatant, such as an employer specifically telling a recruiter that he doesn't want to hire people with certain ethnic-sounding names. What's a lot less obvious are the employers who discriminate for the same reasons, but are a lot more tactful in how they go about it.

For example, many employers have the ability to look you up on LinkedIn or Facebook and see your photo or your profile, and discriminate against you based on what they see.

What can you do about it? Nothing much. Unless a recruiter steps up and says that she was given orders not to hire people of a specific race or gender, there isn't much proof.

Moving on, prospective employers can discriminate during the interview process. This can be done through discriminatory interview questions.

Specifically, an employer should not ask you what your religion is or what your sexual orientation is. They also cannot dig for information about your marital status or your family situation.

Finally, once you're just about to be hired, employers sometimes run background checks. It's legal to run a background check but sometimes, these checks can go too far. For example, credit checks have been seen as discriminatory. The reason is that they have a disparate effect on one race over another.

Before you rejoin the workforce, know your rights. If you're not comfortable answering an interview question, you don't have to.

Related Resources: