General Question

flo's avatar

Is it everywhere in USA, that an interviewer can’t ask a job seeker if she’s planning to get pregnant?

Asked by flo (13313points) March 23rd, 2021
21 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

If not, why isn’t or why is it?

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KNOWITALL's avatar

It’s not against Federal law but it’s a slippery slope.

Personally, I think it is gender discrimination.

janbb's avatar

It is illegal to ask that in an interview everywhere in the country:

The reason is that you might be subject to a discrimination suit if you didn’t offer the job to someone who said they were going to get pregnant.

In the past, employers often wouldn’t hire women who were married because they might get pregnant and leave the job.

Zaku's avatar

In addition to the reasons already mentioned, it would be:
* inappropriately personal, irrelevant, and none of the employer’s business
* not something they could hold you to not change your mind about
* not something anyone should expect it to be ok to ask a stranger
* not something about which anyone should expect to be able to hold someone to their answer
* asking that would/should raise LOTS of red flags about the company’s lack of boundaries and attitude of domination and abusively controlling attitudes towards its employees
* something that people could/would/should call out publicly, to the serious harm of the company’s reputation
* lots more “nope” along the same lines

JLeslie's avatar

Yup, everywhere. Federal law.

zenvelo's avatar

It IS gender discrimination, and is illegal because it is not a question ever asked of a man.

Pandora's avatar

I don’t even know why any job would ask. People switch jobs so much and often the reason for leaving is for better pay somewhere else or better opportunities or because they are moving. Babies or being married is probably the least reason.

Yellowdog's avatar

@zenvelo If men were asked also, would that make it legal or non-discriminatory?

zenvelo's avatar

@Yellowdog No, it would just be nonsensical.

Lightlyseared's avatar

It’s not illegal to ask however if you do ask and don’t offer the job for whatever reason (even if the reason you didn’t offer the job is completely unrelated to the pregnancy and totally valid ) then you are screwed. You will either be paying compensation or paying a lawyer to defend you and still possibly paying compensation.

AshlynM's avatar

I don’t know what job would ask such a question.

janbb's avatar

@AshlynM Employers used to. That’s why it needed to become illegal.

Yellowdog's avatar

It should be illegal for reasons you mention, and has been since I was in High School in the early 1980s,

However, if the job involves the presence of hazardous chemicals, vapors, radiation, etc. an applicant probably ought to be advised. But not in the form of a question.

crazyguy's avatar

I believe it is Federal Law, as stated by many responders.

I can see a situation where an employer is looking to fill a position with somebody who will probably stay for many years. I agree there are no guarantees. However, if you hire a married woman of child-bearing age, you almost guarantee that you will have to do a job-search again. If the position is easy to fill, perhaps that is ok. However, if the position you are trying to fill is key to the business, I would not fault an employer for exercising his/her judgment. Even if that judgment subjects the employer to a potential lawsuit.

JLeslie's avatar

Also, there is law preventing an interviewer from asking if someone is married. Married also had companies assuming that woman would eventually be having babies.

capet's avatar

If a man ever asks me that in a job interview, I’m responding with “no, but I plan to get you pregnant real soon.”

crazyguy's avatar

@capet Your statement makes zero sense, but, perhaps, that is your point?

capet's avatar

@crazyguy Pretty much :D. More specifically, it is aggressive but non-threatening (at least to a cis man which is what I was imagining).

crazyguy's avatar

@capet I personally think the government has no business telling an employer what criteria the employer can set for a particular job. Discrimination by race or gender can be excluded by the government. BUT the government has no place telling the employer that, no matter what the position, the employer cannot require a commitment to fill the job for many years. Without interruption.

Pandora's avatar

@crazyguy I have known guys who left jobs in less than 2 weeks or 1 year. And I have also known a woman who would have a baby and be back to work in 3 weeks and manage to be steady workers. There are no assurances. As an employer, you could also be letting go of a well-qualified candidate over something that may never happen. I know several women who can’t have children. They wanted children but found out they weren’t able to. Also know a guy who stayed home to raise his 5 children and his wife worked. So it is discrimination to not hire a woman based on her biology. No one asked to be born a woman or a man but a woman is forced into lesser employment opportunities because she has a uterus. How is that fair? What is really is about is not paying for maternity which I love the irony of the whole thing. The same people who poo-poo having to pay for maternity are usually the same people who object to paying for birth control because it’s all about money and controlling women.

crazyguy's avatar

@Pandora You cannot blame an employer for playing the odds. For every man who has to give up a job prematurely, there are probably 20–20 women of child-bearing age.

flo's avatar

Thanks all.
I thought asked a question regarding height, race etc. That is if the job seeker has ever felt of a different race a different height, etc.

flo (13313points)“Great Answer” (0points)

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