is it legal for a company to not hire an applicant because they single parents?

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is it legal for a company to not hire an applicant because they single parents?

I recently applied for a company and when I went in for my interview, I met with the head of the department. She stated after our meeting that she would hire me on the spot, but the company decided to have canidates go through a second interview with HR. The HR rep did not ask me any questions other than about my son. At no time in the interview, did she have any work related questions for me. She just kept questioning me about my son and his disabilities and how I was getting his diagnosis.

Asked on April 28, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

Kenneth Berger / Kenneth A. Berger, Attorney at Law

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Here in Washington, the employment laws are not particularly protective of employee's rights, at least from my perspective.  Of course the federal law protections still apply, but I do not know of any particular protections for the situation you describe. 

It also seems to me that from your description it might be hard to tell if you were'nt being hired because they just didn't like your personality, versus because you are a single parent.  The typical saying in Washington employment law is that an employer can fire (or not hire), for no reason, but not for the wrong reason.  So you might want to see what the employer gives for a reason for not hiring you, and go from there.

As always, my comments are only applicable to Washington State and are not a substitute for getting competent, local, and more comprehensive, legal help.

 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Federal law does not protect a job applicant on the basis of his or her family status--for example, that he or she is a single parent--but I believe that Washington State law does. You should contact the Washington State Human Rights Commission for more information and to file a complaint; below is link to their webpage on filing complaints. Good luck.

http://www.hum.wa.gov/ComplaintProcess/Index.html


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