Labor Law: Job Interview Questions and Discrimination
Women are asked during the employment interview certain questions even before being hired. Certain questions are to be better avoided by the employers, such as the ones mentioned in the question, although they can ask the questions in an indirect manner without being blunt. EEOC’s guidelines on “job-interview-questions” permit an employer to ask an applicant about his/her ability to carry out job functions in order to check whether the applicant is physically fit for the job. An employer can also query about the applicant’s other credentials like what he studied, where he worked, and whether he has certifications and licenses. He is also free to ask the applicant to demonstrate how he/she would carry out the job functions.
The fact that the woman is an MBA and yet the male who is a bachelor in public relations has been selected for the marketing job, although the woman is better-suited, shows that she has been discriminated against. She is a victim of gender discrimination from the questions she was asked at the time of the interview. The woman can therefore approach the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and file her complaint at their website. Her prima facie case of discrimination should be that of the illegal questions put to her at the time of interview and also that a lesser qualified candidate has been selected.
On the other hand, the employer may put up a defense that the selected candidate was from Georgia and that was the better choice for the company as the woman would be disadvantaged by having to move to Georgia without a guarantee if her family would support her. As the woman does not appear to have answered the questions, her nonanswers could not have influenced the employer’s decision. The employer’s only clue was that the selected candidate was from Georgia, and that alone must have clinched the deal.