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What shouldn't I ask when hiring?

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We recommend that you avoid asking applicants about personal characteristics that are protected by law, such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin or age. These types of questions may discourage some individuals from applying, may be viewed suspiciously by some applicants, and may be considered evidence of intent to discriminate by the EEOC. If you do not have this information when you decide who to hire, it may be easier for you to defend your business against a hiring discrimination complaint.

For example, we recommend that you avoid:

  • Questions about race, religion or ethnicity, such as:
    • Are you biracial?
    • Which church do you attend?
    • What language(s) do you speak at home?
  • Questions about age, unless used to verify that applicants meet any age-related legal requirements for the job.
  • Questions about an applicant's pregnancy or plans to start a family, such as:
    • Are you pregnant?
    • Do you plan to have children within the next year?

See also:

What can't I ask when hiring?

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