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Discrimination at job interview. Next steps?(10 Posts)
Hi, I’d just like some advice on my next steps.
So on Friday 5th March I attended a job interview for a part-time position at a chain of coffee shops. When talking about the hours I would be available to work, I told the interviewer that because I have a young child I would prefer to to have set days during the week so I would know which days to arrange childcare for. He seemed fine with this and told me it was definitely something they could look into doing however, he asked me whether I would be having another child soon. I was a bit taken aback by this a didn’t know how to respond.
Anyway at the end of interview he told me that the next steps would be arranging a trial shift and he just said he’d call me to let me know when it would be. I didn’t hear anything after a week so I sent a follow-up email on Friday (12th March). I’ve not received a reply and doubt I will but I assume I’ve not got the job.
Does anyone know whether it would be worth pursuing this and I’m aware its illegal to ask this at a job interview. I just don’t know where to start.
Thanks in advance
I'm no specialist and surely someone more knowledgeable will be around soon, but seems to me it'd be hard to prove ? Essentially it'd be your word against theirs. I'm not sure if much would come of it, and whether it's worth the bother. Unless you want to do it out of principle.
What would you be looking to achieve? I would start with this, because realistically it is your word against theirs.
It isn't discriminatory to ask about having children, although it is hugely unwise. It would be discriminatory if they only asked you this and they based their decision on this.
I personally avoid mentioning children in interviews. I would have said that I need regular shifts as I have other commitments. Many coffee shop workers would be studying or working other jobs, so keeping regular shifts would be fairly common i suspect.
I hope you find a decent job soon.
It's not illegal to ask the question. It's only illegal to use the information to make a decision. It's foolish to ask the question, for sure, because it's foolish to pointlessly open yourself up to a discrimination charge, but you brought up your child yourself, which was also unwise in an interview.
Also, it's only been a week and you haven't actually been rejected. Cool your jets and see what happens.
It is illegal to ask if you are planning to have more children.
I doubt you'll get very far with this though, if they were looking for staff with flexible hours then you wouldn't have got the job because you told them you cant be flexible, but because you have kids. However, it may be worth telling them in a feedback email that they broke the law when he asked if you planned to become pregnant again.
It is illegal to ask if you are planning to have more children
Just out of curiosity, what do you imagine the law covering this is called, and how is it phrased? The Illegal Interview Questions Statute (2007)?
No question in an interview is illegal. (Unless it somehow violates gross decency enough that it would be an illegal thing to say in any context.) What is illegal is to make employment decisions on the basis of a protected characteristic. You would have to prove that the employer used this information in their decision not to give the job. The interviewer should not have asked the question, it was poor practice, but given that OP had already introduced the subject of her children, it could be a casual social enquiry. Or not. It's impossible to say but nothing has actually happened yet.
Again, it's only been a week since the interview. It's very normal not to have heard anything in that time.
Most of that linked to article is bollocks.
[https://www.forbes.com/sites/biancabarratt/2019/01/24/what-to-do-if-youre-asked-about-kids-in-an-interview/?sh=66e5a3386334 What To Do If You're Asked About Kids In An Interview]
Quote from the above article... "It is illegal under the Equality Act 2010 to ask a candidate whether they are married, have children or plan to have children in a job interview"