What To Do If You've Been Discriminated Against During A Job Interview

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Photo: JoePenna via flickr

Imagine this scene: During a job interview, you are asked “Are you planning on starting a family soon, or do you already have children?”

You think this question is illegal so you strategically answer, “If you’re wondering if I’ll be calling in sick or taking more personal days than other employees, I can assure you that won’t be the case.”

A week later, you get a rejection letter, and you wonder, “Have I been discriminated against?”

The reality is, it’s possible, but it’s hard to prove, says Lauren Milligan, founder of ResuMAYDAY, a service company that teaches interviewing techniques to employers and job seekers.

“There is virtually no chance of you ever finding out the reason why you were passed over for this job,” she told us. “It’s certainly within your right to call the interviewer and ask if there were certain skills that you were lacking, but not only do they have no obligation to tell you this, they probably aren’t even allowed to do so.

If you decide that you have been discriminated against and want to take action, visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Web site and complete the assessment form to file your claim. The EEOC will contact the employer and they’ll have to provide substantial responses to your allegations. If the EEOC decides the answers aren’t legitimate, the result could be a settlement or litigation. 

But all of this can take a lot of time and effort, warns Milligan, and you probably still won’t have a job during this time period, so consider this option carefully. 

“One other thing to consider is that lawsuits are public information. Any employer from now until they turn off the internet will be conducting an online search of you before they interview you. Is it possible that a company would think twice before interviewing a candidate who has established a history of suing potential employers? Of course. Even if you come out ahead in your claim, you might be creating new obstacles to further hinder your search.”

DON’T MISS: 9 common interview questions that are actually illegal>

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