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Indirect Inquiry

Indirect Inquiries

The Human Rights Act also prohibits indirect inquiries and considerations related to race, sex, age, color, creed, public assistance status, sexual orientation, familial status, national origin, disability, religion and marital status. Such inquiries, may lead to violation of the Act and may be the basis for a Commissioner's charge. Their use may also lead a job applicant to file a charge or a private lawsuit, in the belief that the employer's other employment practices, including the ultimate failure to hire that applicant, are discriminatory. 

Pre-employment requests for information regarding the identity of relatives must explicitly exclude identification of marital status. General questions about an applicant's relatives working for the employer are either likely to elicit prohibited information (when the space allowed for indicating "yes" or "no" is so large that it invites a more detailed response, possibly identifying a spouse) or useless (the limited value of a "yes" response, if you do not know, and should not speculate as to the identity of the potential employee's spouse.).

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