Legal Protections for Job Applicants
When you go to a job interview, it is important to remember that you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. Take note of the tone of the interviewer’s questions, the culture of the company, and the expectations of the job that go beyond its day-to-day tasks. For example, you might be required to work overtime during certain seasons or have to travel as part of your job.
Always keep your rights in mind during job interviews. There are certain questions interviewers may not ask, such as those about your age, your health, and your plans to start a family. There are other pieces of information you must provide to a prospective employer, some of which depend on the field or position for which you are interviewing. You may be required to sign a contract in order to start a new job and if this is the case, review the terms of the contract with an employment lawyer before you sign.
What Do I Need to Reveal to Prospective Employers?
Employers are permitted to ask applicants for background checks. Typically, these are to determine applicants’ criminal backgrounds, but they can also be used to verify an applicant’s employment or credit history. When a company requires a background check, it must do so in a non-discriminatory manner. In other words, it cannot pick and choose which applicants are required to undergo background checks – either all applicants must complete a background check or none may be required to complete one. Similarly, an employer may require applicants to complete drug tests, but only if this is not done to single out applicants of a specific race, age group, or other protected class.
What Information is Illegal for a Prospective Employer to Request?
Employers are not permitted to require applicants to submit genetic information as part of their applications or background checks. This is because genetic information can be used to discriminate against employees who have or can develop certain conditions. Other information that can be used to discriminate against an employee also may not be collected during a job interview, such as:
- Information about the employee’s country of birth or ethnic background;
- Information about the employee’s sexual orientation, current relationship, or relationship history;
- Information about the employee’s religious practices;
- Information about the employee’s commitment to his or her family or plan to have children in the future; and
- Information about the employee’s existing health conditions.
Work with our Team of Experienced New York Employment Attorneys
As a job applicant, you have certain rights. Your prospective employers also have rights and you both have the responsibility to respect each others’ rights. If a prospective employer infringed on your rights as a job applicant and you suffered financial damages, as a result, speak with an experienced employment attorney about your rights and your options for legal recourse. Contact our team at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. today and call (347) 464-8694 to set up your initial consultation with a member of our firm.