Can potential employer ask if you have a family?

UPDATED: May 31, 2012

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.

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.

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