How To Handle Illegal Questions or Questions That Have Nothing To Do w/One's Ability To Do The Job

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

13 months ago

The one downside to applying for reception or general-type office work with doctors and dentists is that they or their practice managers tend to ask illegal questions or ask questions that have nothing to do with the candidate's ability to be able to do the job. (In other words, they want to know about your personal life: who your family is, if your married, if you have kids, who you live with, etc... .)

Having come from larger employers like Quest Diagnostics and the Federal Government where I handled blood and urine as a Specimen Technician, I'm not used to this kind of questioning and prodding because larger employers aren't allowed to go there — ESPECIALLY the Federal Government (HR reps usually sit in on the interviews).

Have any of you ever had to deal with this kind of thing? If so, how do you handle it?

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

13 months ago

If sure some of you have if you're like me and trying to find reception or general-type office work with lawyers, real estate agents or other small and medium sized employers, as this seems pretty common place with small and medium sized employers in which doctors, dentists, lawyers, real estate agents, etc... have to wear MULTIPLE hats including HR and do their own hiring.

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Bluetea in Texas

13 months ago

Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois said: The one downside to applying for reception or general-type office work with doctors and dentists is that they or their practice managers tend to ask illegal questions or ask questions that have nothing to do with the candidate's ability to be able to do the job. (In other words, they want to know about your personal life: who your family is, if your married, if you have kids, who you live with, etc... .)

Having come from larger employers like Quest Diagnostics and the Federal Government where I handled blood and urine as a Specimen Technician, I'm not used to this kind of questioning and prodding because larger employers aren't allowed to go there — ESPECIALLY the Federal Government (HR reps usually sit in on the interviews).

Have any of you ever had to deal with this kind of thing? If so, how do you handle it?

Nobody has ever gone to jail for asking an illegal question.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

13 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: Nobody has ever gone to jail for asking an illegal question.

I suppose not.

But there's things employers just aren't supposed to be asking or discussing in interviews yet I encounter that king of thing on a regular basis and there has to be appropriate ways to handle it when it's encountered.

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Bluetea in Texas

13 months ago

Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois said: I suppose not.

But there's things employers just aren't supposed to be asking or discussing in interviews yet I encounter that king of thing on a regular basis and there has to be appropriate ways to handle it when it's encountered.

The next time you have an interview, tell them that.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

13 months ago

I once had a doctor ask me if my husband was going to step up to the plate and take care of my kids when they were sick so I could still come into work. The question shocked the hell out of me, especially since I'm single. I couldn't believe he just assumed I was married and had children. Once I got past the shock, I said, "EXCUSE ME?" He could see I didn't like that or appreciate being asked that and quickly said, "Let me put it this way..." "Is there anything that would prohibit you from coming in to do the job?" "Do you have any prior commitments?" "Would you need any regular time off?" IMHO, this is what he should've been asking me from the very get go. Then again, it didn't surprise me considering he was from India. Those type of illegal questions and questions that have nothing to do with your ability to do the job are perfectly acceptable in many countries outside the United States.

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Bluetea in Texas

13 months ago

Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois said: I once had a doctor ask me if my husband was going to step up to the plate and take care of my kids when they were sick so I could still come into work. The question shocked the hell out of me, especially since I'm single. I couldn't believe he just assumed I was married and had children. Once I got past the shock, I said, "EXCUSE ME?" He could see I didn't like that or appreciate being asked that and quickly said, "Let me put it this way..." "Is there anything that would prohibit you from coming in to do the job?" "Do you have any prior commitments?" "Would you need any regular time off?" IMHO, this is what he should've been asking me from the very get go. Then again, it didn't surprise me considering he was from India. Those type of illegal questions and questions that have nothing to do with your ability to do the job are perfectly acceptable in many countries outside the United States.

They are. If you are not willing to throw the "That's an illegal question" in their face, try and rephrase the question and soften it.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

13 months ago

You do what you have to do to get a job - meaning you bite your tongue and answer their questions in the manner they want you to answer them. Employers can and will do whatever they want nowadays thanks to the number of people out there who want work.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

13 months ago

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois said: Employers can and will do whatever they want nowadays thanks to the number of people out there who want work.

That's true.

However, this is something small and medium sized employers have been doing even BEFORE the onset of the Great Recession 6 years ago.

I can't tell you how offended I was that this doctor just simply I was married and had children. I may be a woman, but that doesn't mean I'm married and have children. It may be a cultural concern to him as an employer because it can be back in India. This is America. Things are different here and we have laws employers MUST follow when it comes to interviewing. This isn't a country where ANYTHING goes on an interview.

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ThatIsNotMyName in Nashville, Tennessee

13 months ago

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois said: You do what you have to do to get a job - meaning you bite your tongue and answer their questions in the manner they want you to answer them. Employers can and will do whatever they want nowadays thanks to the number of people out there who want work.

I feel this kind of thinking sets a really bad precedent, to be honest. Just because we're desperate for jobs, we should bend over backwards and say "Have at it!" ? :/

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Jobseeker in Lafayette, California

13 months ago

Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois said: That's true.

However, this is something small and medium sized employers have been doing even BEFORE the onset of the Great Recession 6 years ago.

I can't tell you how offended I was that this doctor just simply I was married and had children. I may be a woman, but that doesn't mean I'm married and have children. It may be a cultural concern to him as an employer because it can be back in India. This is America. Things are different here and we have laws employers MUST follow when it comes to interviewing. This isn't a country where ANYTHING goes on an interview.

Unfortunately we ARE in an "anything goes" era these days. Employers know this. Who can afford to fight it, when that takes time and money no one has? Employers know that too, so they spoil themselves by way of those facts.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

13 months ago

Jobseeker in Lafayette, California said: Unfortunately we ARE in an "anything goes" era these days.

While that's true, as I see some ads that specify only those living within 'x' miles or minutes only need apply, small and medium sized employers have been asking illegal questions for the past 10+ years.

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Bluetea in Texas

13 months ago

Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois said: While that's true, as I see some ads that specify only those living within 'x' miles or minutes only need apply, small and medium sized employers have been asking illegal questions for the past 10+ years.

My mother was born in 1923 and on that day my grandfather bought some newspapers. We still have them and some of those classified ads are hilarious.

No _______ need apply. Fill in the blank and its there. Well, at least they were honest about things back then.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

13 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: No _______ need apply. Fill in the blank and its there. Well, at least they were honest about things back then.

True.

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

13 months ago

Elizabeth,

Don't get mad. Many people think men and women in their late 20's are married, have kids and drive a minivan.

Many in society assume that you have a family.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

13 months ago

Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas said: Don't get mad. Many people think men and women in their late 20's are married, have kids and drive a minivan.

I'm in my mid to late 30s, but it's good to know people think I'm younger than I actually am.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

13 months ago

Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas said: Many in society assume that you have a family.

Well, the way the economy's been the last 6 years many people have put off marriage, if they're single, and having a family, if they're already married. Marriage is at an all time low and so is the birth rate (both hit all time lows in 2011, 4 years after the Great Recession) and it's not like it hasn't been in the news. The media's talked about it quite a bit over the years. So to simply assume I'm married and may have a family in today's society is somewhat insulting. Besides, not everyone marries in life and those who do may choose NOT to have kids. (I know people who fall into both categories.)

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

13 months ago

Did you think 10 years ago you would be married with kids at this point in your life ?

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

13 months ago

Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas said: Did you think 10 years ago you would be married with kids at this point in your life ?

No. I didn't.

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Unhappilyunemployed in Pennsylvania

13 months ago

Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois said: The one downside to applying for reception or general-type office work with doctors and dentists is that they or their practice managers tend to ask illegal questions or ask questions that have nothing to do with the candidate's ability to be able to do the job. (In other words, they want to know about your personal life: who your family is, if your married, if you have kids, who you live with, etc... .)

Having come from larger employers like Quest Diagnostics and the Federal Government where I handled blood and urine as a Specimen Technician, I'm not used to this kind of questioning and prodding because larger employers aren't allowed to go there — ESPECIALLY the Federal Government (HR reps usually sit in on the interviews).

Have any of you ever had to deal with this kind of thing? If so, how do you handle it?

While employers can and do get away with things like this, I too find it frustrating that anyone would ask personal questions that have NOTHING to do with the job.

I once was asked what year I "graduated high school" by an old curmudgeon who was clearly older than me. He never smiled and complained endlessly about the worker he was replacing. I knew I didn't want to work for him. I was told later by the agency that sent me there that he was "angry" they didn't send someone "young"!

Employers call the shots and always have. But there was a day and a time we could call the shots too and decide not to take an offer. These days, if you have to be willing to take a lot of sh*t to earn a paycheck.

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Unhappilyunemployed in Pennsylvania

13 months ago

Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas said: Did you think 10 years ago you would be married with kids at this point in your life ?

....speaking of personal questions......!! Geez Beth...give it a rest.

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Bluetea in Texas

13 months ago

Unhappilyunemployed in Pennsylvania said: Employers call the shots and always have. But there was a day and a time we could call the shots too and decide not to take an offer. These days, if you have to be willing to take a lot of sh*t to earn a paycheck.

Employers hold all the cards now. I know that I can get up and walk out at any time, if things get too ridiculous.

I have seen some of my younger co-workers do this and not give it a second thought.

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Unhappilyunemployed in Pennsylvania

13 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: Employers hold all the cards now. I know that I can get up and walk out at any time, if things get too ridiculous.

I have seen some of my younger co-workers do this and not give it a second thought.

I blows me away, but yes...I still see younger people willing to just walk out of a job. They have a better shot of getting re-employed sooner than us, although I know one young man that has been out of work for 4 years. He's college educated too.

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Bluetea in Texas

13 months ago

Unhappilyunemployed in Pennsylvania said: I blows me away, but yes...I still see younger people willing to just walk out of a job. They have a better shot of getting re-employed sooner than us, although I know one young man that has been out of work for 4 years. He's college educated too.

I have seen managers my age give Millenials the "gotta pay your dues" lecture, only to end up talking to themselves. Even the "we're a team" speil sounds as dated as disco music now.

That will work with you or I but not with a Gen X or Y.

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

13 months ago

Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois said: No. I didn't.

Would you like to have a family in the future ?

I've been asked during various interviews:
If I was married
If I had kids
Any plans on having kids
Any family problems that could hurt my job performance
Any health problems
Any drug / alcohol abuse
How often do I date

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Lostmyhope in Virginia

13 months ago

Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas said: Would you like to have a family in the future ?

I've been asked during various interviews:
If I was married
If I had kids
Any plans on having kids
Any family problems that could hurt my job performance
Any health problems
Any drug / alcohol abuse
How often do I date

you like personal questions. you ask them all the time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

13 months ago

I forgot....

What religion was I 'following'
If I drove a reliable car
Any mental problems or medication for mental illness
Any criminal background or arrests
If I was on any disability or any entitlement programs (WIC)
If I every babysat for extra money if the owner needed one on short notice
How often did I call in sick
Was I a military veteran

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Unix Brat in Asheville, North Carolina

13 months ago

Joe. Please reach over and unplug Beth's keyboard. Thank you.

How's the weather in Allen?

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

13 months ago

Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas said: I forgot....

What religion was I 'following'
If I drove a reliable car
Any mental problems or medication for mental illness
Any criminal background or arrests
If I was on any disability or any entitlement programs (WIC)
If I every babysat for extra money if the owner needed one on short notice
How often did I call in sick
Was I a military veteran

Did you ever stop and think why you get asked so many "illegal" questions, maybe it's something you're doing or saying to have them ask so many questions..I've been asked a couple of inappropriate questions, but not to that extreme! Just saying... =)

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Joe Gagill in Poughkeepsie, New York

13 months ago

catfish503 in portland, Oregon said: Did you ever stop and think why you get asked so many "illegal" questions, maybe it's something you're doing or saying to have them ask so many questions..I've been asked a couple of inappropriate questions, but not to that extreme! Just saying... =)

Did your son like the cake?

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Almost Suicidal in San Antonio, Texas

13 months ago

That was a long time ago Beth. You must be way older than I even figured. Were those interviews you found under "help wanted female" in the newspaper?

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

13 months ago

Joe Gagill in Poughkeepsie, New York said: Did your son like the cake?

He tried to get some without the frosting...I made him go away *}

Making the frosting now. In my opinion, best chocolate cake ever...not too sweet, moist and yummy...secret ingredient to make it moist! =))

Hmm...maybe I should start my own business...desserts, coffee and a little wine! Oh, I kinda like the sound of that シ

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Joe Gagill in Poughkeepsie, New York

13 months ago

catfish503 in portland, Oregon said: He tried to get some without the frosting...I made him go away *}

Making the frosting now. In my opinion, best chocolate cake ever...not too sweet, moist and yummy...secret ingredient to make it moist! =))

Hmm...maybe I should start my own business...desserts, coffee and a little wine! Oh, I kinda like the sound of that シ

Mom lets me have the bowl after putting the batter in the cooking pan.

Using milk instead of water is my secret ingredient. And people think mom does all the cooking.

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

13 months ago

Joe Gagill in Poughkeepsie, New York said: Mom lets me have the bowl after putting the batter in the cooking pan.

Using milk instead of water is my secret ingredient. And people think mom does all the cooking.

Sounds like you have many talents! *-)

Butter instead of margarine is best, but that's not my secret ingredient! =D

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Joe Gagill in Poughkeepsie, New York

13 months ago

catfish503 in portland, Oregon said: Sounds like you have many talents! *-)

Butter instead of margarine is best, but that's not my secret ingredient! =D

I am very talented. A shame we will never meet.

Try this. For a chocolate cake buy a king size Hershey bar and break it up into squares and place the pieces equally thru out the cake mix. Actually works wonderful for brownies. It will give it a richer taste!

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

13 months ago

Joe Gagill in Poughkeepsie, New York said: I am very talented. A shame we will never meet.

Try this. For a chocolate cake buy a king size Hershey bar and break it up into squares and place the pieces equally thru out the cake mix. Actually works wonderful for brownies. It will give it a richer taste!

That's okay if we never meet...I consider you one of my good cyber friends. =)

That does sound good...maybe I'll try dark Hershey bar in brownies! Yummy...You know dark chocolate is suppose to be good for you! *}

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

13 months ago

During an interview, they can pretty much ask you any questions because they have 20 other people that are more than happy to answer their silly questions.

If I was desperate for work, I would make up answers to keep them entertained.

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

13 months ago

Almost Suicidal in San Antonio, Texas said: That was a long time ago Beth. You must be way older than I even figured. Were those interviews you found under "help wanted female" in the newspaper?

?

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