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What To Do If an Applicant Reveals That They’re Part of a Protected Class

 protected classHow should we respond when an applicant reveals during an interview that they are part of a protected class?

If an applicant reveals protected information (i.e. religion, sexual orientation, birthplace), your primary responsibility is to make sure you do not allow this information to become a factor in determining whether or not to hire them.

If an applicant expresses concern as to whether their inclusion in a protected class will harm their chances of being hired, assure them that it will not. It is recommended telling them that you will be making the decision solely on their ability to perform the essential functions of the job. It is also recommended that if it is your job to perform an initial interview and provide the hiring manager multiple candidates, this protected class revelation is not provided in the files given to the hiring manager.

If there is any written follow-up to the interview, you may want to include the following in that communication:

“The Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Equal employment opportunity includes, but is not limited to, employment, training, promotion, demotion, transfer, leaves of absence, and termination. All applications will be considered only on the basis of the applicant’s knowledge, skills, and ability to perform the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation. It is our established policy to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, citizenship status, or any other protected classification, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.”

Should you have any additional questions regarding this or other employee topics,  contact CyQuest today!