Rights and Protections Job Applicants Have | Barrett & Farahany

Helping employees find justice in eleven states with offices in Illinois, Georgia, and Alabama.

What Rights and Protections Do Job Applicants Have?

What Rights and Protections Do Job Applicants Have?

job applicant rights

Hunting for a new job can be a daunting and nerve-wracking experience. You put in all of this effort crafting a perfect résumé and finding appropriate positions to submit it to, all in an effort to simply be invited for an interview. Did you know that during this process, job applicants are protected by a set of rights that safeguard their experiences and ensure fairness?

Whether you’re a seasoned job seeker or on the precipice of your first foray into the job market in a long time, understanding your job applicant rights is crucial. You need to know how the law protects you so you won’t be abused by potential employers during the application process. If you’re not sure of what protections you have, the employment law attorneys at Barrett & Farahany can help.

Equal Employment Opportunity Laws

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws that ensure that employees, as well as job applicants, are judged based on their merits rather than on factors unrelated to job performance, labeled as protected characteristics.

EEO laws prohibit discrimination in various aspects of employment, from recruitment and hiring to termination and compensation. What does this mean for you as a job applicant?

Protected Characteristics

It’s essential to recognize what characteristics are protected by EEO laws in case potential employers judge you based on them rather than your merits. These characteristics include:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy status
  • National origin
  • Age (40 or older)
  • Disability
  • Genetic information

Employers are prohibited from making hiring decisions based on these characteristics. Illegal practices in the job hiring process can include:

The Pre-Employment Stage

Even before you step through the door for your interview, the pre-employment stage has already begun. It starts with the job posting.

Crafting Your Application

Your application is your ambassador. Ensure you’re not coerced to provide unnecessary information that could open the door to further discrimination in the initial filtering process. The first person you need to worry about and protect is yourself.

Interview Etiquette

Each question posed in an interview should serve the purpose of gleaning insights into your suitability for the position, steering clear of the illegal territory of asking about protected characteristics.

Illegal Interview Questions

Sometimes, in the allure of getting to know an applicant, interviewers veer towards asking questions that breach EEO laws. Job applicants must be prepared to navigate around and report these employers to the EEOC.

Shunned Questions

Certain areas such as marital status, children, religion, disabilities, and others are protected topics from undue scrutiny during interviews.

Contact Barrett & Farahany’s Employment Law Attorneys for Help

If you have been the victim of discrimination during the job applicant process, you’re not alone, and you have legal recourse. Just because you haven’t been hired doesn’t mean you can be discriminated against.

If you find that a potential employer is utilizing discriminatory practices at any time, from the job posting to the interview process and the employment contract, it’s imperative that you speak to an employment law attorney. If an employer is willing to use discriminatory practices during the hiring process, they will also do so while you are on the job. Contact us to speak directly with an attorney today.

Talk To An
Attorney Today

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to receive emails as well as text messages from Barrett & Farahany.

Barrett & Farahany

Georgia Office

3344 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30326

Alabama Office

2 20th St N, Suite 900,
Birmingham, AL 35203

Illinois Office

77 W. Wacker Dr. Suite 4500
Chicago, IL 60601


Existing Clients: 866-989-0120