Thursday, November 24, 2011

10 Questions You Can't Legally Ask in a Nanny Interview

It is important to remember that a family that is interviewing a nanny for a position is governed by all the same rules that any other employer operates under. There are several types of questions that can be considered discriminatory and should not be asked. If they are asked, the interviewee is under no obligation to answer them. In addition, an employer’s decision to hire or not hire an applicant cannot be based on their answers, or their refusal to answer, these types of questions.

  1. Do you have diabetes, hepatitis or any other disease? You cannot ask questions regarding an applicant’s health or health history, period. You can ask if there is anything that will limit their ability to perform the duties of the job.
  2. Have you ever been married or divorced? Marital status is another item you cannot inquire into.
  3. What is the nationality of your family? Any question that relates to race or ancestry can be considered discriminatory. Simply asking the ethnicity related to their last name would fit into this category.
  4. Have you ever filed a work comp claim? That’s right. You cannot ask them this question. You also cannot ask them how much work they missed due to illness in their previous jobs. This information is not considered appropriate for making a hiring decision.
  5. Are you a heterosexual? Sexual orientation or sexual preference questions are also not allowed, as discrimination on this basis is considered illegal.
  6. Where do you go to church? Religious affiliation or beliefs are not to taken into consideration. However, you can identify your own religious affiliations and beliefs. In doing so, you could ask them if they would have any conflicts with working for a family which holds these beliefs.
  7. Did you receive an honorable discharge from the military? If the applicant has identified previous military service, you may not ask for their dates of service or the type of discharge they received. You may inquire about any education or training related to the nanny position that they may have received while in the military.
  8. How old are you? Discrimination based on age is strictly forbidden. You may only ask questions which relate to a person being of legal age to hold a particular position.
  9. Are you an American citizen? This may surprise you, since it is an employer’s obligation to ensure that their employees are eligible to work in the United States. It is the wording that is incorrect. You may ask: Are you legally eligible to work in the United States and can you provide the necessary documentation regarding your eligibility for employment?
  10. Do you have any disabilities? Even in the case of an obvious physical disability, an employer is not permitted to inquire about the disability, specifically. Instead an employer should provide the applicant a list of physical requirements for the job and ask if they will be able to perform all the requirements with or without any special accommodations.

This list of questions does not cover all the areas of discrimination that you need to avoid, and different states may have additional regulations in affect. When a family chooses to employ in-home workers, they become employers. It becomes very important for these families to educate themselves on the local and federal employment laws that govern the employer/employee relationship.

Taken From Nanny Jobs

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