Ever Hear Of Contacting A Spouse About Employment?

Topic 21023 | Page 3

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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MC you really should read the entire link you replied with. There is a clear and obvious qualifier you missed...or didn't read

He not only missed it in the article, but I quoted that passage directly in my response to him and he missed it there too. He's only seeing what he wants to see.

ACO476's Comment
member avatar

I did G-Town and I posted as to why the intent might be misinterpreted and how because of that, any employer could ask inappropriate questions for any reason whatsoever, but someone deleted my post.

And I’ll clarify my initial response as well. You and Brett are technically correct that questions like this are not illegal, but they imply an illegal motive. As an HRM, I wouldn’t take the risk of a discrimination lawsuit because I asked a question that would be easy for a lawyer to prove illegal motives, especially if the candidate wasn’t hired.

I’ll go sit in the corner and be quiet now...

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I did G-Town and I posted as to why the intent might be misinterpreted and how because of that, any employer could ask inappropriate questions for any reason whatsoever, but someone deleted my post.

And I’ll clarify my initial response as well. You and Brett are technically correct that questions like this are not illegal, but they imply an illegal motive. As an HRM, I wouldn’t take the risk of a discrimination lawsuit because I asked a question that would be easy for a lawyer to prove illegal motives, especially if the candidate wasn’t hired.

I’ll go sit in the corner and be quiet now...

We are not taking about "any employer" here. The question only implies an illegal motive if it has nothing to do with the job of OTR trucking. It clearly does.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dan Snyder's Comment
member avatar

You’re free to give the answer and to let them talk to your spouse, it’s just not something I would do or a question I would ask from an HR standpoint.

Thank you for your service to your community!

Thank you Volvo. I appreciate that... and thanks for all you truckers do as well.....If it weren't for y'all.....the needs of life would dearly suck!!

handloader's Comment
member avatar

As a former manager responsible for the screening and interviewing of applicants I agree with the response that properly structured questions are critical to the safe navigation of legal hiring practices, it's why I question some companies policies of a large interviewing panel or committee.

My reaction to the situation that started the thread, "GREAT !". I am glad they are keyed on the fact that there may be a vested partner in the hiring of a new driver. I was pleased when my HR asked if they could have my wife's birthday and my anniversary info to be able to recognize the day with a card and gift card. I know that if my time and dispatch on the road conflicts with these important days then at minimum they are aware of the sacrifice my spouse makes.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

West Side didn't speak to my family before I was hired, however as soon as I tested out and went solo, they asked permission to call family members.. namely my grown and almost grown kids to welcome them to the west side family and let them know if they ever had any concerns regarding my new career they could call and ask. They were armed with phone numbers for quite a few people in management.

I know it made my youngest daughter feel a heck of a lot better about my adventure.

Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

I did interviews and hiring back when I was an operations manager, and I think it's bizarre. Also figured it was illegal so decided to look it up.

It is absolutely illegal in certain states (often states have additional discriminatory laws, FEHA in Cali prohibits this for example), and generally a bad idea federally. Even the EEOC website states:

"The following pre-employment inquiries may be regarded as evidence of intent to discriminate when asked in the pre-employment context: Whether applicant is pregnant. Marital status of applicant or whether applicant plans to marry. Number and age of children or future child bearing plans. Child care arrangements. Employment status of spouse. Name of spouse."

So it may not be illegal in the state you are applying in, but talk about walking on eggshells. Particularly if they are using the information to make a hiring decision.

I would think they could gain some of the same advantages after making a job offer, but still pretty strange stuff.

I have been asked illegal questions in interviews though, don't really think much of it. It's hard to prove discrimination and it's more likely terrible interviewers and not really malicious intent.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
It is absolutely illegal in certain states

Can you link us to one of the state laws that explicitly states you can not ask to speak with a potential employee's family members? Because I've found no evidence at all that it's illegal. Everyone keeps saying it's illegal, but no one has actually pointed us to any laws which state this.

And there's something you guys are all missing even though G-Town and I have pointed it out several times. You can not discriminate against someone for something that doesn't not affect the person's ability to do the job. For instance, if you're hiring someone to run a cash register you can not explicitly state that you will only hire men because a female can do the job equally well. Male or female has nothing to do with anything.

However, there are times that certain things do have a direct impact on the person's ability to do the job. They are absolutely relevant. For instance, if you want to pull a flatbed they will require you to pass a physical test to see if you can lift the weight required to do the job. Now if you were hiring people to answer phones and you required them to lift 150 pounds over their head that would be odd. You would wind up with a call center full of men. Women could easily make the case that you're discriminating against them by requiring something only men will be able to do, even though the job doesn't require you to lift 150 pounds. It could be considered a discriminatory tactic.

Leaving your family for days or weeks at a time will absolutely affect your ability to do the job and will affect how long you may be willing to stick around. So for a company to say, "Hey Jim, we'd love to get your wife in on this conversation because asking you to leave her for weeks at a time is going to have a huge impact on her life. We want to make sure she's in on the decision making process." There's nothing wrong with that.

But it goes beyond that. Even if they speak with your spouse it doesn't mean they're discriminating in their hiring practices. If a company has 300 drivers and nearly all 300 are not married then you could have a case for discriminatory hiring practices. But if you have a reasonable mix of married and single drivers then how are you going to prove in a court of law that they are discriminating against anyone?

You have to understand the difference between what is legal to ask and what is considered illegal discriminatory hiring practices. These are two different things. Then, even if you think you have a case, you still have to prove the company is discriminating illegally in a court of law.

Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

Https://govt.westlaw.com/calregs/Document/I5459B9C68FE44F6C83783D07E0C9DA65?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=(sc.Default)

As I said feha in cali. Sorry for not hyper-linking, the link insert did not like the link and I'm not good with computers. This isnt the only state either, I just figured "well Cali has to have some stringent discrimination laws" and looked it up first.

Here's an employment attorney discussing the inquiry:

Employment attorney

Getting better with computers apparently.

Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

Maybe not...

employment attorney

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