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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Youth at Work

A is incorrect.

The company violated the law by conducting an Internet search for Maria’s name and “breast cancer” and by publicly posting “Touch base with Maria: aunt’s cancer treatment.” The law prohibits employers from seeking out genetic information, including family medical history, of applicants and employees. The law also requires employers to keep genetic information of applicants and employees confidential, with very limited exceptions that do not apply in this example.

Try again! Select another choice below.


12. Maria applies to work as a summer intern at a radio station. The interview goes well. A Human Resources employee conducts a background check, which includes an Internet search of Maria’s name. Maria’s Facebook page appears in the Internet search results. The Facebook page, which is available for public viewing, features a picture of Maria standing next to a mile marker in a T-shirt imprinted with “My Aunt is My Hero” and a pink ribbon. Touched, the Human Resources employee conducts an Internet search for Maria’s name and “breast cancer” and learns that Maria’s aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer but is responding well to treatment. The Human Resources employee writes a note on the white board in his office: “Touch base with Maria: aunt’s cancer treatment.” The employee’s sister was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and he is interested in learning more about successful treatments. Maria is hired. Did the company discriminate against Maria?

  1. No. The company did not discriminate against Maria; it hired her as a summer intern.
  2. Yes. The company discriminated against Maria by viewing her Facebook page.
  3. Yes. The company discriminated against Maria by seeking out information about her aunt’s breast cancer and posting a note in public about Maria and her aunt’s cancer treatment.
  4. No. The Human Resources employee should not have conducted the Internet search for Maria’s name and “breast cancer” and should not have written “Touch base with Maria: aunt’s cancer treatment” on his white board. However, the employee took these actions to help his sister, not to hurt Maria.