Finding a job is frustrating and stressful on many levels. With so much happening at the same time, the last thing you want to worry about is a hiring company violating the law.
As a job applicant in New Jersey, you have a variety of legal rights. For example, it’s illegal for an employer to discriminate during the hiring process, such as based on nationality, race, age, gender, religion, disability or pregnancy.
Even though there are federal and state laws in place to protect job applicants during the hiring process, many companies willfully or unknowingly make a mistake.
As you move through the hiring process, your primary focus is on taking steps to land the job. However, you should also pay close attention to the questions you’re asked, as some of them may be illegal. For example, you should not be asked questions that pertain to the following:
- Marital status
- If you currently have children
- If you intend to have children in the future
- Sexual preference
- If you have a disability
- Questions regarding past alcohol or drug use
How to protect yourself
During the hiring process, it’s your hope that you can turn all your attention to giving a good impression. However, if you begin to worry that you’re a victim of discrimination, for example, it’s imperative to better understand what’s happening.
There are several things you can do to protect yourself, such as:
- Follow up on any questions that you are not comfortable with: For example, if the hiring manager asks about you sexual preference, ask them why it matters.
- Keep detailed records: Take notes of any discriminatory activity during interviews, while also hanging onto any physical evidence that you have.
- Learn more about federal and state anti-discrimination laws: Knowledge of these laws will help you decide what steps to take next.
You may not be an employee just yet, but that doesn’t mean a company can discriminate against you during the hiring process. You have legal rights, and it’s critical that you take steps to protect them. There’s never a good time to let a hiring company off the hook after violating the law.