When you interview for a new job, you can end up being quite nervous and stressed. Will your possible new employer like you? Will they see the potential you have? Will they decide you’re the best candidate for the job? These questions are universally asked by job seekers, but for those with disabilities, they can often be a secondary thought when thinking about how the interview process will go.
When you have a disability, it can be nerve-wracking to go into an interview and not know what questions are appropriate to be asked. Can your interviewer ask about how your wheelchair will hinder your job performance? Can they ask about how your diabetes will impact your hourly productivity? Can they ask probing questions about how your eyesight affects your day to day life? These questions can put an interviewee in a tight situation in which they do not know how to react. What is appropriate? What can an interviewee say to these questions?
As an interviewee, you are guaranteed certain rights when it comes to interviews, and these rights are not to be violated by anyone. Ultimately, if you feel your rights have been violated in an interview, or you believe the person who interviewed you was biased, talk with a disability lawyer to see what you can do to get the justice you deserve.
In an interview process, an employer cannot ask questions related to disability. According to the ADA, or the “Americans with Disabilities Act,” interviewers cannot ask: “disability-related questions or [questions about] medical exams before a real job offer is made.” This means that an interviewer cannot ask questions about a disability, whether obvious or not obvious, you may have as they interview you for a job. When a potential employer asks about your disability in your initial interview, know that they are breaking the law and that they cannot legally ask you such questions as it goes against the ADA, which is a serious offense.
When employers try to ask questions related to your disability, they are expecting you to not know your rights, or perhaps hoping that you are too invested in getting the job you’re interviewing for that you’re willing to answer their illegal questions. If you are in an interview and are being asked questions that infringe on your rights as laid out by the ADA, stop the interview, remind the interviewer of your rights and of their mistakes, and choose whether or not you would like to continue the interview or if you would like to leave the interview.
Always know your rights before entering into an interview and know what is acceptable behavior of your interviewer. Also, do not be afraid to tell them when they are asking you illegal questions, as it is your right to be interviewed fairly and legally.
If you believe you’ve been unfairly discriminated against by a potential employer, seek the help of a disability lawyer today. At Edelstein Martin & Nelson, we know what your rights are, and we are ready to fight to defend your rights in court to get you the justice you need. Call us today at 800-887-4529.