RE: Illegal interview question

Subject: RE: Illegal interview question
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 10:26:49 -0500


Your employer has a legal obligation to find out if you are legally able to
work by asking about residency and visa status, etc. While asking about your
citizenship might be illegal, it is a very efficient way of finding out your
employability and I trust the question is really asked out of legal
ignorance with no malice aforethought.

If I were you, I'd stop ending every sentence with "eh," refrain from
putting mayo on hotdogs, and leave the toque at home <vbg>. Seriously, why
don't you broach the subject of your employability in the way that you want
before the question is asked by the other party. And, remember, if you need
a VISA then you quite obviously are not a citizen, which would tend to pique
the innocent curiosity of your interviewer.

HTH and cheers,

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jane S. [SMTP:judydh -at- total -dot- net]
> I'm a Canadian citizen and I've been looking for work in the States. I've
> gone to maybe a dozen interviews, and at almost every one of them I've
> been
> asked either if I was Canadian, or if I was not an American citizen, and
> what kind of visa I needed. So I've always sportively answered the
> questions
> [original phrase: I've always answered the questions sportively. Which do
> you prefer?] The visa isn't an issue, as I explain the TN visa applies to
> tech writers and it's a relatively easy one to get. I just found out,
> however, that asking for my citizenship or otherwise inquiring into my
> unamericanness is illegal. What should I do if this comes up in the
> future?
> What should I have done already?

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