After working for an employer for 11 months they asked me if I was married? If I was a non citizen? If I was married to a US citizen why was I not a US Citizen? Is that legal to ask me those questions?

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After working for an employer for 11 months they asked me if I was married? If I was a non citizen? If I was married to a US citizen why was I not a US Citizen? Is that legal to ask me those questions?

I was denied a position and one of the reasons was there was a red alert on my immigration status which was a lie. I quit due to feeling unsafe due to their line of questioning. Can they ask me is Im married? If my husband is a U.S. citizen? This was very invasive questioning which came from the owners not HR and there were documents in my Ike which could have answered those questions. Furthermore, they met my husband before so they knew I was married.

Asked on November 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

National origin discrimination is illegal, which means that they can't refuse to employ you, or take other action against you, because of where you came from, so long as you have legal authorization to work in this country. An employer may, however, question an employee about factors relating to her eligibilty to work here, because they have a legal obligation or duty to only hire those who can work here legally, and in particular, they may do so if there is some alert on or about your immigration status--even if you believe it is wrong or incorrect, they can, and should, question you about it to make sure they are complying with their legal obligations. If there was a red alert as you write, therefore, their questions appear to have been legal and appropriate.


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