Does there need to be an equal amount of male/female interviewers when interviewing an applicant?

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Does there need to be an equal amount of male/female interviewers when interviewing an applicant?

I feel that my job interview (applicant) was unjust because I was the only male interviewed and the panel of 4 that interviewed me were all female (interviewers). This company that interviewed me is a global company and maybe there should have been an equal number of male/female interviewers. There were also 3 applicants, I was the only male applicant out of the 3 (two were female, and 1 of the female applicants was already an employee of the company as well.

Asked on April 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Neither federal discrimination laws nor state discrimination laws require that the person conducting the job interview be of a certain sex or race.  Probably the only time the makeup of a "panel" comes into question is in jury selection in a criminal case.  Those rules do not apply to an employment interview.  The second issue is that you are not a member of a protected class (at least based on the facts that you describe).  Reverse discrimination is not an impossible suit, but it is extremely difficult when the only evidence of possible discrimination is the gender profile of the panel conducting the interview.  What is impermissible is if the panel took a negative action against you (i.e. decided not to hire you) based on an impermissible purpose (for example, your race).  Then the make up of the panel would not be per se evidence of discrimination, but it is a factor which could weigh in your favor.  Also, if the company had a procedure for hiring (like having a balanced panel) and they failed to follow those procedures, then the failure could also be evidence of discrimination.  I know you feel slighted by the unbalanced make-up of the panel, but unfortunately, there is not a practical way to force all employers to have balanced panels.


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