Your Rights in Employment: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Employment Discrimination

What questions can an employer ask me during a job interview?

Generally, an employer cannot ask you questions that will make you give answers about any protected class you belong to. Questions about your race, your age, if you are married or not, or any other protected class are generally not allowed. If the job you are applying for has specific needs for age, physical ability, or other things, then the employer may ask about those specific things.

Here are some questions that may reveal protected class status:

  • You speak with an accent, where are you from? (This question could make you give information about your national origin or race).
  • How old are you? When did you graduate? (Age).
  • Do you have a disability? When did you become disabled? Are you on any medications? (Disability).
  • Are you married? What does your spouse do? (Marital status)
  • Are you pregnant? Do you plan on starting a family soon? (Sex)
  • Are you a U.S. citizen? (Asking about your citizenship is also generally not allowed, since citizenship is not often a job requirement. An employer can—and under federal law must—ask for correct identification. This is to prove that you have the legal right work in the United States.)

Can I be fired for filing a discrimination charge against my employer?

It is illegal for your employer to punish you for filing a discrimination charge. This kind of revengeful punishment is called "reprisal." You could file a separate charge of discrimination—this time for reprisal—against your employer if he/she punishes you for filing the first charge.

I am an undocumented worker; am I protected from discrimination?

Yes. The Minnesota Human Rights Act protects the rights of all people in Minnesota, whether or not they have the legal right to work in the United States.

More Information

Fact Sheet (PDF)

What to Do

Contact us immediately... do not wait! You have one year from the time the discrimination happened to file a charge with our agency.