Can potential employer ask if you have a family?

During interview, employer asked if I have a family, but said, it’s irrelevant what the answer is, but just so you know, this could require some overtime so we want you to know that in case you need to set expectations for your family.

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Florida law (but not federal or national law) prohibits discriminating against an employee because of his or her marital status. That does not mean it is illegal to ask about your family per se; but if they ask about your family and then you suffer some negative consequence which could be linked to your marital status (e.g. not getting a job; not being offered overtime; not getting a promotion; etc.) that might be a case of illegal marital status discrimination and you may have a legal claim. Should this happen, you could contact the Florida Commission on Human Rights to file a complaint.


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