California Employment Law
California Employment Law Questions Answered by Legal Experts
Are you not aware that it is illegal for a prospective employer to ask you the following?
1. How old you are
2. What your nationality is
3. If you are married
4. How many children you have
All four of these questions are illegal!
The part I found disturbing were the illegal questions.
I know the company has an office in California but I believe they are based in either India or Austria.
The gentleman who sent the email is employed by the company as an internal recruiter. In fact, I am connected with him on LinkedIn.
Interesting answer given that I have already hired an attorney on a 30% contingency fee agreement. The individual who sent me the email found me on Linkedin where I also have a photo posted. He read my profile on Linkedin and then reached out to me via email with the job opportunity. Because I am in a protected class (over 40) and the company in question is a publicly traded company, my attorney believes it will be extremely easy to get a quick out-of-court settlement for between $50,000 - $100,000 based on the email proof requesting protected information that has nothing to do with my qualifications for the job itself. Moreover, he said it will be a "Walk In The Park" and take no more than three months to settle based on his experience. He actually couldn't believe somebody would put those questions in writing given the legality involved.
Anyway, thanks for your answer, but the attorney I hired says it will be an easy out-of-court settlement because of the email trail.
Well, the attorney you hired certainly doesn't lack self-confidence, although he's a bit shady on legal ethics by promising a large settlement in a matter of months, as well as the necessary elements to a discrimination cause of action.
I highly resent the implication that because you found an attorney willing to take your case that my answer is somehow incorrect. There are over 300,000 attorneys in California, and surprise, but not all of them know what they're talking about.
I entirely agree that it is unbelievable that someone would put such questions in writing, but I'm not sure how he's calculating damages for a solicitation for a position you may not have even been interested in applying for. Since you didn't apply, let alone even answer these questions, it's impossible to prove you would have otherwise got the job had you not been discriminated against, as you were not the victim of discrimination but of receiving an email with illegal job questions in it.
But who knows, you may just get that settlement based on a case that wouldn't make it through a summary judgment motion written by a 2L. Good luck!
What you have to understand is how most companies handle cases like these. For example, a few years ago, I had a General Manager ask a prospective employee what city he lived in during a job interview. When the candidate didn't get the job, he hired an attorney to file a discrimination complaint suggesting that because he lived two hours away, he was denied employment because my GM ended up hiring someone who lived 20 minutes away. Although my GM did not make the hiring decision based on where the candidate lived, it is illegal to ask a prospective employee where they live. What he should have asked is can your work 8a-5p Monday-Friday. Anyway, my company ended up giving the guy $25k to "Go Away" because as is the case with most companies, they don't want to deal with any lawsuit and 70% of the time settle out of court.
In my case, my attorney believes that because the company has deep pockets, and there is an email trail, the company in question will want to settle quickly.
My attorney has suggested I do answer the questions because if I do not ultimately get at least an interview based on my answers to the illegal questions, my case will become even stronger so we'll see what happens.
I did speak to five attorneys. Two weren't interested, and the other three were foaming at the mouth to take the case on because unlike a verbal interview where it is a "He said/She said" scenario, I actually have the questions in writing which my attorney believes the recruiter is using to determine who gets to interview for the job versus who does not get to interview for the job.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).