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Job Seeking with Disability: What Questions Are Illegal for an Employer to Ask During a Job Interview?

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Going to a job interview is stressful as it is but if you’re a person with a disability, it’s not uncommon to feel extra pressure. It can be quite hard to relax and make a great first impression when you’re constantly stressing about possible interview questions that might lead to an awkward moment.

To give you a boost of confidence, we’re here to tell you that there are certain questions your potential employers are forbidden from asking. However, even though some topics are not allowed to be brought up during the interview, some companies don’t always comply with the rules. So, in case you find yourself facing any of these questions, know that you are under no obligation to answer them. Take a look.

Do you have a disability?

One of the questions potential employers cannot ask you is whether you have any mental or physical impairments or disabilities. While asking this is prohibited, some people come up with sneaky ways to do this, so keep an eye on the questions you are presented with and carefully consider your answers. Do not feel pressured to give out information about your conditions. Only if you feel like your disability might affect certain areas of the job and your safety should you mention that you have a disability. That is why all of the questions need to be related to your ability to do the job properly – otherwise, you are not obligated to answer.

Do you have a disability that will affect your job?

One of those sneaky ways to see if you have a disability is to ask it in a specifically phrased question. Even if they ask whether it affects your job, this is still not allowed and you don’t have to answer them. The questions should be strictly about your qualifications and the ability to do the job in question. Even if you’re thinking about becoming a support worker for other people with a disability, there is no need to disclose this information unless it directly affects your performance or the safety of other people.

When and how did you get your disability?

Just like they cannot ask if you have a disability or certain injury, companies cannot ask when and how you got it. This is not appropriate during the interview nor after you’ve worked for them for 10 years. Even if they are aware of the fact that you have a condition, these kinds of questions are insensitive, intrusive and not professional, especially if your disability in no way affects your work.

Have you been treated for a certain mental health condition?

Your potential employer has no right to ask about your past medical history, nor your active treatments. While it might seem like a relevant question, especially if it happened in the past, they have no business asking that.

Do you need to take any prescription drugs?

Just like the previous question, your active treatments are no concern of your employer. They cannot ask about your current medication, regardless of whether it’s for a physical injury or a mental health condition. If every single worker is asked the same question after they are employed and it’s considered a company standard, it’s acceptable. However, if they only ask you, they might be singling you out because of your disability and there is no need for you to answer.

How often do you have doctor’s appointments?

This question is also not relevant during the job interview. How often you see your doctor is not something that your employer has to know. Once again, only your ability to perform the tasks the job requires of you should be discussed.

How many sick days do you need on average?

Employers often use this question to catch you off guard and find out if you have a disability. Don’t fall for it. You are under no obligation to answer this question – what’s more, it’s illegal to ask for personal information which can be used to discriminate against you.

These seven are just some of the questions that are illegal during job interviews. If you find yourself facing any of these questions, you can refuse to answer them, file a claim or end the interview right there. Know your rights and don’t let people discriminate against you based on your disability.

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