Hey guys it’s Chelsea from The Financial
Diet and this week’s video is brought to you by Squarespace and this week we
wanted to talk to you guys about the questions that you may someday be asked
when looking for a job that you’re not at all required to answer and in fact
probably shouldn’t. Some of these questions are not outright illegal but
could lead to serious discrimination suits if someone were to pursue them
against the hiring company. It’s important when you’re looking for a job
that you know your rights and you set your boundaries especially when looking
for your first job out of school you can feel so excited at the prospect of
getting any job that you don’t even feel like you need to question the means of
getting there but the job interview process while a lot of it is in the
hands of the person doing the hiring is not a moment of total powerlessness for
the person who’s applying. You have every right to be discerning about the kind of
things you say to a potential employer and the kind of things that are asked of
you. So, we’re gonna go into some of the questions that you might hear and what
to do when you’re asked them. The first question is “Are you married? Pregnant?
Thinking about getting pregnant?” So this is one of those lines of questioning
that actually is in many cases against the law there are many discrimination
laws set in place and some might vary state to state but some are also
federally mandated that are there to protect people who might be vulnerable
to discrimination in the case of hiring and that could be based on ethnicit,y
gender, race, cultural background, religion etc but it can also be based on life
choices one might make. In the case of women that choice could be do we think
you’re going to have a kid in the next few years and how is that going to
impact our bottom line. You not getting hired or promoted at a job because your
employer thinks that you might have a kid someday is super against the law. It’s also just on a personal level incredibly uncomfortable to be asked
this as a woman because we know all too well that these questions are not often
posed to men even though realistically it takes two parents to make a kid. Do
not feel that you have to apologize to be a young woman who might be of
marrying or childbearing age nor that you have to justify or explain any
future life choices you might make. If you’re ever asked any of these questions
around your relationship or childbearing status in the interview, even if it’s
posed in a casual way, be on the lookout and one very good way to respond to this
that is professional and respectful but still very clear about setting
boundaries We’ll link you guys in the description to some of
the specific laws protecting women who might be getting married or pregnant in
the next few years around their employment. Knowing your rights in the
workplace is incredibly important and it starts even before you get the job.
Number two is “How many children do you have?” or “How old are they now?” This one is
similar to the first but a little bit different in the sense that the rules
outlining what is and isn’t okay to ask about someone’s children are a little
blurrier. It can be harder to prove that these kind of questions were used to
potentially discriminate against someone but it’s also very important to consider
the context of this question. We know that in the workplace in America the way
women are regarded as parents is very different from the way men are in a
similar situation. We’re the only developed country without guaranteed
maternity leave and although the situation has improved for working
mothers, when surveyed people are more likely to assume that the responsibility
for child rearing should fall more toward the mother than
the father. In fact studies show that when men become fathers their earnings
over the course of their career actually increase and the opposite is true for
women having children is an enormous hit to a woman’s earning potential and that
only increases the more children she has and this is as much to do with people’s
expectation of her at the workplace ie “Why aren’t you home or with your kids?”
combined with “Why aren’t you staying as late as the men?” which is an unwinnable
game ,is a huge part of this. So asking a woman around the number of children she
has or whether she has them in a job interview is a good way for an employer
to suss out pretty quickly how much that will be a real or perceived constraint
on her time and you don’t have to answer this. If and when you’re asked this
question here’s a good way to respond. Number three is “Do you have any
religious holidays you celebrate?” now this is an inappropriate question for
two reasons one it’s a way for an employer or potential employer to pry
into your religious life which actually is discriminatory but it’s also a way
for them to assess whether you’ll be taking additional days off that are not
on their regular calendar. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Yom Kippur, Ramadan, or nothing at all that is not your employer’s business you have the freedom
to practice whatever religion you want at the workplace and more importantly to
not be judged on that criteria when you’re looking for a job. If you sense
that an employer is prying into your religious background and this can
often be the case for candidates who might outwardly appear to belong to a
certain religion, remember that you have rights in this situation and your
biggest one is to not play that game. If and when you might be asked this
question you can simply respond Obviously if your religious beliefs would actually preclude you from doing a job as it was
listed you probably shouldn’t be applying for that job but in most cases
your religious beliefs and any holidays therein should not be a factor. The
fourth question is “Do you have any disabilities?” or any questions around a
possible disability. Now it should be clear that some jobs do have physical
requirements that need to be met in order to do the job and sometimes
applications will ask you questions around your strength mobility etc let’s
say for example a job requires you to transport heavy objects or run or
perform physical tasks and in those cases it’s up to us to be realistic
about what we can and cannot do but for the majority of jobs your physical
abilities should not be consideration in the hiring process and there are plenty
of discrimination laws in place to protect Americans with disabilities and
for the record these protections can also apply to people who are mentally
disabled as well as physically disabled although physical disability often leads
to more frequent discrimination Particularly if you have a visible
disability that might attract more questions than usual it’s important you
know you’re right not to answer them. Any disability that does not literally
prevent you from doing the tasks required of the job should not be a
consideration and more importantly when setting our own boundaries for things
like our physical or mental limitations it’s important that we remember that we
are not on the defensive. These are rights and it’s well within your right
to assert them If you are asked this question or a similar one remember there
are plenty of options to respond, including And remember as with being
asked other discriminatory questions it is always within your right to bring
these issues to the proper government body. We’ll link you in the description
below on how to report some of these issues if and when they arise in your
workplace. Lastly number five “Were you born in the US?” “Were your parents born in
the US?” Any question that hints toward your immigration status, your citizenship,
your cultural background, or ethnic background is not okay. As long as you
are legally within your right to be working in the US you have
no reason to be questioned on these issues and while you may be asked to
confirm on an application or in person that you are legally allowed to be
working in the US, and an employer has the right to ask that question, anything
beyond that is not okay. Just because you may appear to have a certain background
or nationality is not at all a reason to be discriminated against for a job. An
employer is not allowed to directly ask you where you were born or where your
parents might have been born and the distinction between the two
whether you are legally allowed to work somewhere or whether you may be from
somewhere else are very very different Particularly as the rhetoric around
immigration and immigrants becomes more and more hostile this may be an
increasingly severe issue in job applications and workplaces. If you sense at all that you have been discriminated against in this way or
being asked unfair questions you have every right not to respond or to report
it and if you do respond here’s a great option Beyond that your background is, survey says, bone of their business! There are
many more questions than these that are definitely not okay to be asked when
you’re applying for a job and we’ll link you to more of them in the description
but in the short term it’s important to remember when you’re in the job
application process which can feel often very desperate that you are not in a
position of powerlessness. Know your rights assert your boundaries and always
be professional and respectful but do not give in to something that’s not
appropriate to be asked for. And one employer you can be sure we’ll never ask
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off your first order. As always guys thank you so much for watching and don’t
forget to hit the subscribe button and to come back every Tuesday and Thursday
for new and awesome videos Bye!