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Spotting discrimination in the hiring process

You usually put your best foot forward when you interview for a new job. So, it can be upsetting when the company you are attempting to work for shows bias. The Missouri Human Rights Act protects individuals from discrimination in the workplace, including hiring and firing.

These days, companies are more careful, so it can be hard to tell when someone is discriminatory. However, if recruiters have unconscious bias, it can negatively impact the screening and selection process and your chances of getting the job.

Discrimination in the application process can take many forms. Below are a few examples:

Asking inappropriate questions

It is normal for an interviewer to ask a few basic background questions. However, as they get comfortable with applicants, they may unintentionally ask potentially discriminatory questions.

Generally, questions around age, health, marital status, birthplace, ethnicity, gender identity, pregnancy, religion, or disability are illegal. Some questions may seem harmless, but some companies use them to screen out people they do not want to hire.

Lack of diversity

Look around the office or read company reviews. It is possible that discrimination exists in the workplace if everyone working there is the same age, gender, or racial background. Companies that promote diversity and inclusion are better places to work as they respect people of all backgrounds and value having different perspectives.

Demeaning jokes or comments

When you and the interviewer are comfortable with one another, joking around is sometimes acceptable. However, it is discriminatory if those jokes or remarks target your gender, race, or other protected characteristics. Furthermore, it demonstrates that such behavior is tolerated, creating a potentially hostile workplace.

Even though everyone has some level of bias, recruiters should never make hiring decisions based on it. Instead, they should look at an applicant’s qualifications.

Knowing what qualifies as discrimination may give you the confidence to stand up for yourself and, if necessary, report the incident to the proper authorities. In Missouri, potential hires who experience discrimination throughout the hiring process may file a lawsuit.