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By Louise Herman

When you submit your resume, you may wait anxiously for an email informing you that you’ve been selected for an interview! However, when you leave the interview, you may feel uncomfortable with how the discussion was conducted. In more severe circumstances, the interviewer may have outright told you you weren’t going to be hired despite your impressive work history and interview skills. This is hiring process discrimination and is illegal in the United States. Keep reading to learn more about how this occurs and discover how a Providence, Rhode Island employment discrimination lawyer can help you navigate this difficult time.

What Is Hiring Process Discrimination?

Hiring process discrimination happens when a hiring manager or anyone else responsible for onboarding in a company refuses to hire or discriminates against an applicant because they are a member of a protected class. Refusing to hire someone based on race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, age (for those over 40 years old), sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or religion can constitute hiring discrimination.

Failure to hire an individual based on the aforementioned characteristics is illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Despite the illegality, this practice continues in many different industries.

How Does This Occur?

There are a number of ways that hiring discrimination can occur. In some instances, the discrimination begins before the applicant is even brought in for an interview. If someone submits a resume and has a foreign or ethnic name, their application may not even be considered. Similarly, if an older candidate’s resume includes the years they were in college, a hiring manager may determine that they are too old.

In an interview process, discrimination can occur a number of ways. Sometimes these are questions such as “do you have any children?” or “do you drive a car?” which can be used to discriminate against people by implying that these are factors holding them back from receiving the job. Though these questions are not illegal to bring up, many interviewers will not bring them up as they can be used in discrimination claims. However, if you find an interviewer has asked you an uncomfortable or pointed question, you do not have to answer.

You may also find that your phone interviews went exceptionally well, but when it came to your in-person interview, the person conducting the interview became cold or abrasive. This could be because they did not know you were a member of a protected class because of your race, age, religion, or ethnicity.

What Should I Do If I Faced Discrimination During the Hiring Process?

Unfortunately, it can be challenging to prove that you faced discrimination. Over the years, those who discriminate against others utilize careful wording to avoid facing discrimination claims. However, to those who have experienced hiring discrimination, it is clear to see.

When you have faced discrimination in an interview or during the hiring process, you’ll want to document the time and date of the interview, who the discussion was with, and as many details of the conversation as possible. Then, you’ll want to contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. At the Herman Law Group, our dedicated team of attorneys can help you navigate this process. Contact us today to request a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.

About the Author
At Herman Law Group, our focus is on safeguarding the rights and careers of employees and businesses alike. With over 35 years of successful legal practice, Louise A. Herman brings an invaluable dual perspective from representing both employees and employers. This unique insight allows us to effectively achieve successful outcomes for our clients in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and nationwide.