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The Legality of Questions to Employees

TheLegality of Questions to Employees

Question about

Probably lawful

Probably unlawful


This is probably unlawful because federal employment and hiring laws prohibit against discriminating an employee based on their place of origin or citizenship. The questions should not appear to be probing about the birth place of the employee. Perhaps Terry should just know if the Trucker is authorized to work in the United states.

Previous arrests

This probably lawful because the Federal allows employers to ask employees about their previous criminal history. However it would be unlawful to discriminate the employee based on the previous arrest records especially if there are other truckers with similar records but of a different race, ethnicity or nationality. Moreover, arrest records alone should not be reason for exclusion because they do not act as proof of conviction. Arrest history may help Terry to establish whether the conduct of the trucker warranted such action.

Previous felony convictions

– This is probably legal because employees should avoid being accused of ‘negligent hiring’ by employing persons with serious conviction pasts.

– It can help in excluding truckers with particular types of convictions especially those related to trucking. For instance, if a driver was convicted of driving under the influence of a substance or convicted of causing multiples accidents.

– However, Terry should ensure that the information obtained from the National Consumer Law Center is accurate. Sometimes, the information omits significant information that misleads employees from hiring employees.

Distance between work and residence

– Vital in determining travel allowances and if the company can provide housing services or allowances to the truckers. The question does not have content that may discriminate against any employee.

Domestic responsibilities

– Employees privacy rights should be upheld during hiring. The question looks and sounds like it is probing into the private life of an individual. Disclosing certain private matters may disadvantage the interviewee against others. Information about Private responsibilities should be known later after the employee has been hired and integrated into the system.


– The question discriminates on the basis of physical abilities. Truck driving does really need very tall people. For automatic trucks truckers of average height can do the job.

The question fails to meet the business necessity exception. Instead, it has adverse effect on women because women are shorter on average than men.


Employers are prohibited from discriminating employ

Previous work experience

– It is part of employment procedure to know about the experience of the employment. Experience is vital in trucking jobs becomes they may need handling of emergencies.

Educational attainment

– It is procedural to understand the education background of an employee because it determines the skills and remuneration within the labor laws.

High school favorite subjects

-The question is not significant for a trucking job

Grade point average

Every state has GPA requirements for jobs application. It is vital in ascertaining whether the necessary laws of hiring have been followed.

Received Workers’ compensation in the past

-Eligibility for workers compensation will determine and the program initiated.

Currently receiving workers’ compensation

The question is needed to review the terms of compensation to adhere to labor laws.

Child care arrangements

-This information is needed by organization to effect legal compliance on child protection remittances

Length of time on previous job

The employer will ascertain the experience of the trucker.

Reason for leaving previous job

-Terry will ascertain whether or not the reasons for leaving the previous job are justifiable to be considered by the company.


-Information on age is needed to process insurance and retirement programs.


-The information is needed in preparing information about health insurance and retirement programs. Sex has nothing to do with the trucker’s qualification for the job. However, it would be prudent for Terry to ask this after the trucker has already been hired. She should also state that the information about the sex of the trucker is not part of the qualification to be a trucker in the company.

Home ownership

The question is personal and infringes upon the applicant’s privacy

Any current medical problems

-As long the question is not related to any form of disability, Terry can go ahead and ask. The question must be within the allowance of the Occupational and Safety and Health Act. Considering that this is a trucking job, Terry is legally allowed by the Act to ask the question.

History of mental illness

Employers are prohibited from asking any questions about a medical condition that an employee has or develops.

They also prohibited from conducting medical examinations on employees and contacting any physicians.

OK to seek reference from previous employer?

-This is part of employment procedure. It allows the employer to know if the facts asserted their skills and experience are accurate.

Have you provided complete/truthful information

-The question seeks reassurance from the employee that they have provided accurate and honest information about themselves.

Native language

-It sounds discriminatory on ethnicity. The native language will not be used at the workplace and therefore the question is unlawful. It can attract litigation if the employee is not satisfied with the hiring process. Asking about the native language is the same as wanting to know about the trucker’s ethnicity.

Willing to work on Easter and Christmas

-The attempts to know the trucker’s flexibility to work extra hours such as on holidays. However, it must be made clear that it is not part of the qualifications for the job.

Get recommendation from pastor/priest

The question does not have any significance to the job description of a trucker. It could be probing into the applicant’s privacy in terms of faith affiliation.


Roper,B. D. (2007). Practicallaw office management.Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.