17 Things No Employer Should Ever Ask You

Our bosses are not our friends, and they shouldn’t try to become so. However, some of them seem to not understand this and will try to creep their way into your personal life. In this article, we look at 17 things that employers have no grounds for asking you about.

Salary History

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According to FindLaw, employers are legally not entitled to know your salary history. This legislation was put in place because the practice only perpetuates wage inequality, as people who are typically on lower salaries are given lower offers than their equally qualified counterparts.

Your Personal Health Details

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Employers should focus on your ability to do the job, not your medical history. It is illegal to ask for health conditions unrelated to job requirements. The law has it this way to prevent employers from discriminating against employees based on potential disabilities.

Your Age

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Your skills and experience should be the focus, not the year you were born. Age is mostly unrelated to job performance, except for a few exceptions where it could lead to health concerns. Ageism is a big issue, and keeping ages secret is one way to stop it.

Pregnancy Status

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Unfortunately, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers are not forbidden from asking about your pregnancy status. However, it is still greatly discouraged to prevent discrimination. If someone asks, feel free to decline to answer the question and give your reason why.

Plans for Retirement

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There is no easy way to say goodbye, but Indeed recommends a few tips to do it smoothly. These include researching company policy, speaking to your boss, and writing an email to your colleagues letting them know you are leaving.

Marital Status or Family Plans

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Asking for marital status can unfairly penalize women or those with families. Employers tend to run away from women with families, fearing they will need maternity leave soon. Some also discriminate against single older women, as they are seen as immature.

Religious Beliefs

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An employer’s interest should be in your work ethic, not your spiritual practices. Focusing on religion can lead to discrimination. It may also lead to disagreements at work that don’t add any value to the workplace. We are all different and it should be celebrated, not punished.

Political Affiliations

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Politics has become a hot topic in recent years, which might prompt some employers to use others’ beliefs against them. It is best to keep politics outside the workplace, as we can’t all agree on everything, even if we vote for the same party.

Sexual Orientation

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Who you love or who you’re attracted to has nothing to do with how good you are at your job. Imagine you’re great at organizing things, and you’ve planned the best office party ever. It wouldn’t make sense if your boss suddenly asked who you date, right? That’s because it doesn’t matter at work. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly, without worrying about being judged for their love life.

Race or Ethnic Background

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Think about all the different foods at a big dinner table. Each dish adds something special, just like people from different races and backgrounds add to a workplace. If someone’s really good at coming up with new ideas because they’ve experienced different cultures, it’s not fair to ignore their skills just because of where they come from.

Criminal Record for Unrelated Offenses

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Past mistakes unrelated to work should not define your professional future. Everyone makes mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they should keep you from getting a good job. If you learned from it and it has nothing to do with the job you want, it shouldn’t stop you from being hired.

Credit History for Non-Financial Positions

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Jobs should decide if you’re right for them based on what you can do, not your credit score or if you’ve been late paying for something. Your ability to do the job well is what’s really important, not how you handle your money.

Social Media Passwords

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Keeping your social media private is like putting a lock on your diary. It’s your space to share thoughts and pictures with friends and family, and it’s not for your boss to snoop around. Asking for your social media passwords is like someone asking to read your personal messages. It’s not right, and it doesn’t help them know if you can do the job.

Membership in Unions or Labor Organizations

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Being part of a union or a labor organization is beneficial because they make sure everyone at work is treated fairly and gets fair pay. But, when you’re looking for a job, whether you’re in a union or not shouldn’t matter. Laws are in place to protect workers’ rights to join unions, making sure that this choice doesn’t affect their job opportunities.

Homeownership or Living Situations

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Whether you own a big house, rent a small apartment, or live with family, you deserve the job of your dreams. Sometimes, employers think that where you live says something about how much money you make or how successful you are, but that’s not fair. Everyone’s situation is different—your address shouldn’t stand between you and your dreams.

Genetic Information

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Genetic information includes things like your family’s health history or if you’re likely to get certain diseases, but none of this has any impact on how well you can do a job. If this happens, you should speak to a lawyer, and they’ll let you know how best to deal with the situation.

Personal Debt or Financial Status

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It is very uncomfortable talking about money with others, let alone workmates. In fact, Career Contessa recommends keeping all your personal information private at work. Only share what you think is alright to share and keep the rest under wraps.

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