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Were you a victim of hiring discrimination?

When most people think about workplace discrimination, the victim is always a person currently employed by the company. But did you know this can also occur as a person who is being interviewed for a position?

Job applicants have legal rights during the interview and hiring process. For example, federal law states that an employer is not permitted to discriminate against an applicant based on gender, national origin, race, disability, age, pregnancy or religion. Furthermore, state and local laws may also come into play.

Employers need to ask important questions during the interview process. This is the best way for them to learn more about an applicant, thus determining if he or she is right for the position. Even so, there are a variety of questions that should be avoided. These include those associated with:

-- Marital status.

-- Whether or not the person has children or plans to have children.

-- Sexual preference.

-- Race.

-- Religion.

-- If the person has or has ever had a disability.

-- Age.

-- Subject matter related to alcohol or drug use.

In the event that an applicant begins to discuss one of the topics above, the employer can then touch on the subject matter as a means of answering the question.

Every year, qualified job applicants are the victim of discrimination. For this reason, they don't receive an offer for a position they are qualified for. If for any reason you believe you were a victim of hiring discrimination, don't hesitate to take notes about what happened and then learn more about federal, state and local laws that pertain to your situation.

Source: FindLaw, "Legal Rights During the Hiring Process," accessed Nov. 18, 2015

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