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Hiring in Florida: Interview Questions That are Against the Law

jobs in SarasotaWhen it comes to interviews for jobs in Sarasota, there’s a good chance you think you know what you’re doing. After all, an interview is a simple process isn’t it? Ask the right questions, get the answers you need to determine if a candidate is worthy of becoming an employee for your company. In many cases, this is true, but what you don’t know can hurt you.

For instance, did you know that asking certain questions during an interview can be inappropriate or even illegal? Florida law is very clear when it comes to what you can and can’t say during interviews for jobs in Sarasota, and it’s essential that you know how to screen candidates without overstepping those legal boundaries.

Illegal Interview Questions for Jobs in Sarasota

How Many Children do you Have?

This question is is not only inappropriate, but also illegal because the question itself may be viewed as being based on the applicant’s gender. According to Florida law, it is illegal to ask female applicants if they have children or if they are planning to have a child in the future.

The main reason most employers ask this question is to determine how many hours the candidate will be able to work and what outside obligations may get in the way of their daily work. Instead of asking if a candidate has children, be more upfront about your concerns. Ask what hours they can work, what shift they would be willing to take, and if any responsibilities outside the workplace might interfere with their job requirements, like traveling.

The question “Are you married?” is illegal as well as it can be used to discriminate against a candidate.

What Country do Your Parents Come From?

It is unlawful for an employer to ask where an applicant’s parents were born or where he or she was born; this is considered discrimination. You may ask, however, if the candidate is eligible to work in the United States.

What is Your Native Language?

This question is inappropriate when the English language is not a requirement for the specific job that a candidate is applying for. This also applies to other languages; candidates should not be expected to read, write, or speak a certain language unless it is a specific requirement for the job.

Did you Serve in the Military?

When a candidate fills out an application, that application can ask about their military history and the kind of discharge they received because it helps determine whether they are eligible for veteran’s preference. In the interview, however, you can not ask them follow-up questions about their discharge. According to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, doing so can lead to issues of equal opportunity. For instance, if you asked what type of discharge a candidate received and it was a medical discharge, you are now privy to the fact that the candidate has a medical condition. Unless the medical condition prevents the candidate from performing his or her job, this isn’t information you should know.

Do you Drink?

As an employer, you may ask this question during interviews for perm or temporary jobs in Sarasota, but you must be careful. You may inquire as whether or not an individual drinks alcohol, but you may not ask them how much they drink or if they have completed an alcohol rehab program. This line of questioning may elicit information on alcoholism, which is a considered a disability by the ADA, making these questions illegal and discriminatory.

Want to make sure you don’t accidentally ask any illegal interview questions for permanent or temporary jobs in Sarasota? Let HH Staffing Services assist in your hiring process. We’ll screen, interview, and even pay candidates for you so you don’t have to worry about anything.