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At a job interview, discriminatory inquiries can violate human rights

When British Columbia employers conduct job interviews, they must take care to avoid discriminatory inquiries. Broadly speaking, employers may not ask prospective employees questions about any of protected grounds under the Bc Human Rights Code, including:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Gender identity or expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Family status
  • Marital status
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Colour
  • Mental and physical disability

During an interview, employers must focus on the applicant's ability to perform the job's duties without making discriminatory inquiries. Even casual conversation to connect with the person before or during the interview must steer clear of prohibited subjects. Furthermore, asking about a criminal record and political alliance may constitute a violation of human rights.

Hiring cannot be based on family or marital status, nor on any plans to have children. Questions about availability for overtime work based on a person's family status are also prohibited. Similarly, the decision to employ a person may not be determined by his or her religion, place of origin or ethnicity. 

Anyone in British Columbia who is unsuccessful in securing a position due to discrimination during the interview might have questions about his or her legal rights. An experienced employment lawyer can provide the answers and advocate for the client throughout ensuing legal proceedings. Similarly, an employer who is accused of violating human rights laws may also retain legal counsel services to provide guidance and support.

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