Is an employer allowed to ask a job applicant about their disability?

There are restrictions on what questions an employer can ask prospective hires during a job interview. It is unlawful for an employer to ask a job applicant about their disability or base a hiring decision on a disability at any point in the hiring process.

An employer can only ask about disabilities once the applicant receives a job offer. The employer is only allowed to ask questions necessary to provide the individual with reasonable accommodations.

Interview questions must be related to the job applicant’s skills and qualifications relevant to the position. The only disability-related question an employer may ask a prospective hire is whether they can perform the job’s essential duties, with or without reasonable accommodations.

Asking an applicant directly whether they have any disabilities before hiring them is unlawful and may qualify as disability discrimination. Job applicants and workers with disabilities have important protections under California and federal law.

If you suspect you have a disability discrimination claim against your employer or a prospective employer, speak to an Oakland employment lawyer. Erlich Law Firm can help you understand your rights.

Other Disability Discrimination FAQs:


My parents were heavily involved in community organizing. Seeing neighbors and friends’ parents struggle in the workplace gave me a sense of purpose that I wanted to help others. Many employees feel helpless and powerless in the workplace, and helping them vindicate their rights is the right thing to do.

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