Can an employer in an interview ask if you are married or have kids?

A head hunter called me about an electrical engineering field service job. They liked my resume so wanted to ask some questions. He asked work related questions and then askedne if I was married and did I have kids?

I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t ask a man that.

Asked on January 16, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Federal law does not prohibit discrmination on the basis of marital or family status, but your state's law does make it illegal to discriminate in employment due to marital status. If you suffer or believe you suffer discrimiation due to this, contact your state's Department of Work Development (link below) to file a complaint. But only if you are discriminated against: for example, if you do not get the job and have reason to believe it is due to your marital status. (Note: only marital status, not whether or not you have children, is protected.) If you don't suffer discrimination, there is no complaint: the law prohibits discrimination, or taking negative action against you, not asking the question.
Here's the link: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/er/civil_rights/discrimination/fair_employment.htm


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