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Sexual Discrimination During the Interview Process

Posted by Eric Kingsley | May 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

sexual discrimination during work interview

Interview Questions that are Illegal

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibit employers from asking certain questions while vetting job applicants. These laws are in place, in part, to protect you against sexual discrimination during the application process, interview, or while testing for a specific job.  It is important to note that while many areas of questioning are prohibited before you get the job, you may be required to answer some of them once you are hired.

Here are examples of illegal interview questions relating to sexual discrimination.

Marital Status

  1. Are you married (divorced, single, engaged, etc.)?
  2. What is your marital status?
  3. Is this your maiden name?
  4. What is your spouse's/child's name?
  5. Who do you live with?


  1. Do you have children?
  2. How many children do you have?
  3. How old are your kids?
  4. Are you planning to have children?
  5. Are you pregnant?
  6. What are your childcare arrangements?
  7. Questions about your spouse's work.

Once you are hired, it is appropriate for your employer to request certain information about your spouse and children for tax and insurance purposes.


  1. Do you wish to be addresses as Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms.?
  2. What is your sexual orientation?

An employer may ask you one of the following legal questions:

  1. Are you willing to relocate?
  2. Are you able to travel as needed by the job?
  3. Can you work overtime?
  4. Are you able to get to work at 7:30am?
  5. Can you work until 6:00pm?
  6. Can you meet the specific work schedule of this job?

What should you do if you are asked an Illegal Question?

It is your choice to answer or refuse the question.  It's important to consider the intent of the question. In some cases the person asking could be unaware of the law and had no intent on being deliberately discriminatory.

When you feel that you have experienced discrimination during your interview process you may file a charge with the EEOC. Contact a sexual discrimination attorney at Kingsley & Kingsley at 888-500-8469 to discuss your situation. We can answer your questions and help you file your case.

About the Author

Eric Kingsley

In practice since 1996, attorney and firm co-founder Eric B. Kingsley has litigated complex cases and authored numerous appellate briefs in both state and federal court on behalf of the California law firm of Kingsley & Kingsley, including over 150 class actions. Mr. Kingsley concentrates his pra...


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