Can your employer ask questions about your personal life who your dating, or friends are?

My employer has asked me if I was dating a former employee. This has happened twice now in 6 months on 2 separate occasions.

Asked on July 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Montana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, employers may ask about your personal life, including who you are dating or friendly with. There are times  that this may constitute some form of illegal discrimination or harassment--for example, showing interest in an employee's romantic life can constitute sex-based harassment--but there are also times when this is legitimate, even if intrusive--such as if there is a suspicion the employee is dating someone whom the employer has grounds to not want involved or associated with the business, even indirectly, like a former employee who left on tense or bad terms.

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