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What Rights Do You Have During The Hiring Process?


Applying to jobs can be stressful, especially when finding new employment is an urgent matter. Many people have to send out dozens of applications, only to hear nothing back. While applying to jobs is stressful enough on its own, this process is even harder when employers violate your rights. Unfortunately, many people might not even be aware that they have rights as a job applicant and during the hiring process. You might be aware that you have rights as an employee, but what about before that?

Your rights begin before you’re hired for a job. The employee rights lawyers at Brown Kwon & Lam are here to help protect your rights so that you receive fair treatment.

Employers Cannot Discriminate Against Job Applicants

As a job applicant, you have the right to be free of hiring discrimination. Federal, state, and local laws protect you from employment discrimination in all aspects of employment, which includes the hiring process. This means that as a job applicant, you can’t be discriminated against and denied employment based on your membership in a protected class, which includes:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Familial Status
  • Genetic Information
  • National Origin
  • Criminal Convictions
  • Marijuana use, in certain situations

Signs of Discrimination During the Hiring Process

Recognizing employment discrimination during the hiring process can be difficult. Here are a few signs that employers could be using discriminatory hiring practices.

  • Discriminatory Advertisements – In some job listings, you may see language that could be considered discriminatory. Some job listings may specify that they want recent college graduates or may use titles and pronouns specific to only one gender. Job listings like these can deter people in certain protected classes from applying, even if this wasn’t intentional.
  • Discriminatory Interviews – Some questions asked in interviews may be used to discriminate against job applicants. Some questions can be red flags in an interview, such as asking about your marital status, the year you graduated high school, and where you were born. Employers also can’t ask questions about disabilities or genetic information before offering an applicant a job.

Employers Can Only Perform Certain Background Checks

Background checks are required for many jobs, and in many cases, these are legal and necessary to find the right candidate. However, there are some restrictions as to what background information potential employers can obtain during the hiring process. Employers may ask about your medical history after hiring you, but not before, and there are very rare occasions when employers are allowed to inquire about your genetic information.

In New York, most employers are also not allowed to ask about your criminal record until after they make a job offer, according to the Fair Chance Act. New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) also prohibits employers from performing credit checks, except for in certain situations, such as hiring an employer for an executive-level position that oversees finances.

Employers Must Provide Information Regarding Salary for the Position

Starting May 15, 2022, employers in New York City will be required to provide a salary range in job listings. New York City’s salary transparency law aims to help prevent pay discrimination by providing job applicants with the minimum and maximum potential salary for that position. If an employer fails to provide a salary range, it will be considered an unlawful discriminatory practice under NYCHRL.

NYC Employment Discrimination Lawyers Who Can Help

Being turned down for a position you know you’re well qualified for is difficult, but this experience is even worse when you suspect that discrimination is at play. Your membership in a protected class should never be used to keep you out of a job, but this occurs to many employees.

If you’ve been discriminated against in any aspect of employment, contact the New York City employment discrimination lawyers at Brown Kwon & Lam today.