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How much do you know about prohibited hiring practices in MN? - II

In our last post, we discussed how truly unfortunate it can be when the excitement of the job interview process is marred by otherwise questionable employer inquiries that could potentially be used in a discriminatory manner.

We also discussed how the Minnesota Human Rights Act contains specific provisions barring employers from certain pre-employment practices, including making just these sorts of inquiries during the hiring and interviewing process. In today's post, we'll continue to take a closer look at some of these proscribed pre-employment practices.

Can a prospective employer ask about my citizenship status before hiring me?

In general, employers cannot ask prospective employees about their citizenship status during a job interview. This isn't the only layer of protection, however, as the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 12986 specifically dictates that it is a violation of federal law to discriminate on the basis of immigration status or citizenship in relation to the hiring, firing, referral for a fee or recruitment process.

Can a prospective employer mandate that I take a physical examination?

While it may come as something of a surprise, prospective employers can indeed request prospective employees to undergo a physical examination, including a medical history.

However, the following elements must be satisfied:

  • The test subject must have been offered a position contingent upon their passing the physical examination.
  • The physical examination must be required of everyone conditionally offered the same position.
  • The physical examination must be narrowly tailored in that it assesses only the essential abilities related to the position.
  • The proper mechanisms must be in place to ensure the confidentiality of the medical information gathered during the physical examination.

Our blog will continue this very important discussion in future posts. In the meantime, remember to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional if you believe that you have were victimized by discrimination in the hiring process.

Source: Minnesota Department of Human Rights, "Prohibited pre-employment practices," Accessed Oct. 2, 2014 

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