Employment Law and Job Interviews

US laws against discrimination in hiring choices are more relaxed than in many other countries. An employer is not required to hire the most qualified candidate, and is allowed to let personal opinion sway him or her to a great extent. However, job applicants do have protection against certain kinds of discrimination from potential employers.

If you are conducting a search for new employees, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of what you can and cannot ask. Certain traits are legally protected while others are not; additionally, a seemingly harmless conversation starter may actually violate the law. If you need any information about protecting your business from litigation, contact Des Moines business lawyers LaMarca Law Group, P.C. today at (877) 327-2600.

Protected Traits

Federal law prohibits workplace discrimination based on sex, race, color, age (over 40), religion, disability, or country of origin. Iowa’s state laws have expanded on this by adding additional protected traits, including:

  • Sexual orientation/gender identity
  • Family arrangements (children, pregnancy, plans to become pregnant, etc)
  • Age (18 or older)
  • Genetic information
  • Citizenship status

Any of these characteristics cannot be the sole reason you hire or promote someone, or turn him or her down for a job or promotion. A Des Moines business litigation lawyer can provide more details.

Questions to Avoid

To prevent illegal discrimination at work, job interviewers are not allowed to ask applicants about certain personal issues. Questions that are not permitted and may lead to a lawsuit include:

  • What church do you go to?
  • Are you married? Do you want to start a family?
  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • What year were you born?
  • Do you have an illness or disability?

These are just a few examples of topics you need to avoid in an interview. Anyone who is planning to hire workers now or in the future needs a thorough understanding of the relevant laws.

Contact Us

To learn more about our state’s employment regulations, contact Des Moines business attorneys LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (877) 327-2600.

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