We all know employers may not discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, medical condition, disability, martial status, gender, pregnancy, or age.  But, if your association has employees it is prudent to understand what type of questions can be asked so as to not run afoul of a discrimination claim.  Below is a list of proper and improper questions.


You May Not Ask

You May Ask

Marital Status

 -Are you married?

– Are you single? Are you divorced?

-Maiden name? Have you ever changed your name?

– What was your original

 – Have you ever used another name while working for another company so we can check on your work and education record?


– Do you own or rent your home?

– What is your present address?


– How old are you?  What is your birth date?

– When did you attend elementary or high school?

– When did you graduate?

– If hired, can you show proof of legal age?

– Are you over eighteen years of age?

Birthplace, Citizenship

– Where were your born?

– In what country were your parents born?

– Are you a nautralized citizen?

– Can you, after employment, provide proof of employment eligibility?

Sexual Orientation

– Are you gay?

– What is your sexual orientation?

– Do you attend gay bars?

– Etc.


National Origin, Ancestry

– What is your nationality, ancestry, native language?

– How did you learn to speak a foreign language?

– You may ask if an applicant speaks a particular language if it is required for the job.


–  Do you have any children?  Do you plan to have any?

– Do you use day care? Do you have a nanny?

– Are you pregnant? Do you use birth control?

– Do you foresee any attendance problems?

Race, Color

– What is your race?

– Questions about the applicant’s complexion, eyes, hair.



– What year did you graduate from grade school, high school, college?

– Did you graduate from college?

– What degree did you earn?


– Please provide a photo with your application.

– You will be photographed after your interview.

– This interview will be videotaped.

– After you are hired, you will be photographed for identification purposes.


– Have you ever received workers’ comp benefits?

– Do you have any disabilities or handicaps?

– Can you preform the specific tasks required for this job?


– What religion are you?

– Who is your Pastor, Minister or Rabbi?

– Can you work Saturdays and Sundays?

– Please provide character references.

Criminal Record

– Have you ever been arrested?

– Have you ever been convicted of any crime?

Altitude Community Law has human resource professionals on staff that can assist you with your employment needs. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or call 303.432.9999.

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