Job interview questions are an often overlooked area of discrimination law but one that can pack a real punch to the jaws of Massachusetts employers who get careless. Many don’t realize that screening out job candidates via seemingly innocent questions that may touch upon age, gender or religion is just as illegal as firing an employee because he’s handicapped. Both federal and state anti-discrimination agencies have produced detailed descriptions of what a job interviewer can say to a candidate and what he can’t. The wrong question can result in a lawsuit almost as easily as other acts of discrimination can.
In some cases, the damages can be quite high. In one, a car dealer was ordered to pay $100,000 to an applicant after it solicited his age on an application just by asking about his military service. The prospective employee never got an interview but sued because, he said, his 1959 [Read more...]