Can an employer ask if you need need single health insurance or family health insurance during an interview?

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Can an employer ask if you need need single health insurance or family health insurance during an interview?

In my recent interview my employer asked me if I needed single health insurance or family health insurance. I did not get offered the job even though I am qualified. I feel he didn’t hire me because family health insurance would cost the company more money. Isn’t this discrimination? Is he allowed to ask me that in an interview? Should I speak with an employment law attorney? In Montgomery County, OH.

Asked on August 30, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an employment attorney, because you may have a claim. Employers are forbidden from discriminating on the basis of a an employee's disability status, age, or sex. It is possible that this question could be implicate one or more of these prohibited forms of discrmination. It does not appear, however, to be the case the discrimination on the basis of "family status" or "marital status" is specifically forbidden: federal law does not prevent it, and I don't believe that the law of your state does, either. Therefore, you should speak with an attorney to see whether, if you were denied a job on this basis, it implicates either one of the probited forms of discrimination or possibly some provision of the new health care reform law (though not all provisions or protections are yet in force.)


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