I was asked about my son and the person I currently live with if he was the father?

My interview started out very well with the owner. I then had a second interview with his wife and she asked questions like...

Question: So I see there is a gap in your resume from2003 – 2005? Why is that?
Answer: I was a stay at home wife.
Question: So you had your son with him?
Answer: No, my son is 4 and that was 2003. I am no longer married to that man.
Question: So you are divorced?
Answer: Yes.
Question: Is your divorce finalized?
Answer: Yes.
We then started talking about my son and the hours that this job would in tale and she asked who would watch my son. I responded with “my boyfriend and I both watch him.” She asked what he did and I said he was a bartender and she asked if his hours fluctuated and what would then happen if I didn’t have a sitter. I said I had plenty of back up sitters.
Question: So he (being current boyfriend) is not the father of your son?
Answer: No.
Question: Your ex doesn’t mind that he has taken on the father role? Is he going to be taking on the father role of your son?
Answer: My ex is not the father of my son. And yes he (current boyfriend) does take on that role.
Question: So you’re ex husband is not your son’s father? Why is that?
Answer: I was with him for a very short period of time. My son is 4 and I was married in 2003.
Question: Are you and your boyfriend planning on getting married?
Answer: Yes eventually but we are not in a hurry.
Question: I see you have lived in quite a few different states in the past few years. Why is that?
Answer: I go to where the work is.

Needless to say..I was uncomfortable and unaware of the legalites of what type of questions are allowed to be asked in an interview. This was the first big interview I had had since I was a server/bartender for 10 years. I wasn't aware she could'nt ask these questions and I was afraid to not answer them thinking I wouldn't get the job.
Please help me as to what I am legally allowed to do. Thanks!

1 answer  |  asked May 4, 2012 2:01 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (1)

Harold Goldner
Wow, what a great series of questions to use for "How to get sued for interviewing." The problem is that you haven't indicated whether you actually *got* the job or not (or have been formally declined for the position). Secondly, the measure of your damages will be problematic.

However, the questions were definitely improper, and violate at least the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act's prohibition on discrimination based upon "family status." You certainly have the right to file a formal charge with that agency, however, failure to hire cases are fairly difficult and expensive to prosecute (even more so if you are unemployed!)

If you want a more detailed analysis and recommendations as to what your next steps should be, you should meet with an employment lawyer.

posted by Harold Goldner  |  May 4, 2012 2:13 PM [EST]

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