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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption