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Illegal Interview Questions

Posted by Eric Kingsley | Nov 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

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You are protected from releasing certain personal information during an interview; there are illegal interview questions. Employers are prohibited from asking certain questions while examining job applicants due to The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). These laws are in place to protect you against sexual discrimination during the application process and job interview.

Under the laws enforced by EEOC, it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or genetic information. While it is not only illegal to ask specific questions for the application & hiring process, it is also illegal to discriminate during recruitment, job referrals, pay and benefits and in job postings. For more information regarding prohibited employment policies, check out this link to learn more.

Below are illegal interview questions that should be avoided in the interview and application process. Please review and contact Kingsley & Kingsley if you have any concerns.

Marital Status

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


  • Do you have children?
  • How old are your kids?
  • Are you planning to have children?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • What are your childcare arrangements?
  • 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.


  • Do you wish to be addresses as Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms.?
  • What is your sexual orientation?
  • Are you able to travel as needed by the job?
  • Can you work overtime?
  • Can you meet the specific work schedule of this job?

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

During the interview or application process, is is your choice to answer or refuse the question. It is 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 an attorney at Kingsley & Kingsley at 888-500-8469 to discuss your situation.  We are located in Encino, CA (Los Angeles area) and 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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