What job interview questions are considered unlawful in California?
There are certain restrictions on what California employers can ask candidates during a job interview. Questions must be limited to seeking information about the individual’s background and skills in relation to the position for which they are applying. While some interview questions may seem harmless, they are unlawful.
An employer cannot ask you about personal details that are not related to the job position, such as your political views or religious beliefs. Questions about salary history are also off-limits. Additionally, state law prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history before a conditional job offer is made.
Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, it is illegal to discriminate against job applicants based on age, race, religion, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical disabilities, national origin and other legally protected characteristics. As a result, employers cannot ask questions about these topics during the hiring process, with limited exceptions.
For example, questions such as “How long have you lived in the United States?” or “Where were you born?” may appear harmless, but they can be viewed as asking about national origin, which is illegal. Employers can ask applicants whether they have legal status to work in the United States, as long as they are not seeking to discriminate.
It is unlawful for employers to ask job applicants about whether they have a disability or health issue. However, they are allowed to ask whether you can perform the job’s essential tasks with or without accommodations.
Other Employment Law FAQs:
- Age Discrimination FAQ
- How can I prove age discrimination in the workplace?
- How can I prove age discrimination?
- How long do I have to file an age discrimination claim?
- What are some examples of age discrimination in the workplace?
- What are some signs of age discrimination at work?
- What is age discrimination?
- Who does the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protect?
- Disability Discrimination FAQ
- Discrimination and Harassment FAQ
- Pregnancy Discrimination FAQ
- Sexual Harassment FAQ
- Can I file a sexual harassment claim against my employer if I was harassed outside of the workplace?
- Can I file a sexual harassment claim even if there were no witnesses?
- Can my employer fire me if I complain about sexual harassment?
- Can sexual harassment victims stay anonymous?
- Does verbal harassment count as sexual harassment?
- How can a lawyer help me with my sexual harassment claim?
- How long do I have to file a sexual harassment claim?
- I was sexually harassed at work do I need an attorney?
- What evidence do you need to prove sexual harassment at work?
- What happens if you are laid off after being sexually harassed?
- What is sexual harassment at work?
- What is sexual harassment in the workplace?
- What should I do if I was sexually harassed at work?
- Who do I tell if I feel that I am being sexually harassed at work?
- Unpaid Wage & Overtime FAQ
- Am I entitled to rest breaks?
- Does my employer have to give me meal breaks?
- How much do you get paid for overtime in California?
- Is wage theft a crime in California?
- What should I do if my employer doesn’t pay me the overtime wages I am owed?
- When does my employer have to pay me my final wages upon termination or resignation?
- When must commissions be paid in California?
- What job interview questions are considered unlawful in California?
- What to Expect When Filing an Employment Lawsuit in California
- Whistleblower and Retaliation FAQs
- How and when do you file an unlawful retaliation lawsuit?
- How is illegal retaliation defined?
- I complained about my employer’s illegal activities and was fired soon after. Do I have a whistleblower claim?
- What is illegal retaliation?
- What should I do if I have been fired for reporting my employer’s illegal activities?
- Wrongful Termination FAQ
- How long do I have to file a wrongful termination claim?
- I was recently fired from my job without any warnings or negative performance reviews. Was I wrongfully terminated?
- If I quit my job because conditions were intolerable, do I still have a case?
- What can I do if was wrongfully terminated?
- What should I do if I have been unfairly fired from my job?
- What types of damages can I recover in a wrongful termination claim?