Your Rights When Applying For A Job
You should know that, as an employee in Florida, you have certain rights under the law. Such rights include the right against unlawful discrimination and harassment based on your race, religion, gender, disability, age, and other protected factors. In addition, employers may not retaliate against you with an adverse employment action if you complain of unlawful actions by an employer. What you may not know is that you have all of these rights even before you get a job; these rights apply during the application and hiring process as well as during employment.
Federal and Florida discrimination laws apply even when an employer advertises for an open position. An employer cannot exclude members of a protected class from applying unless a “bona fide occupational qualification” exists that requires the exclusion. For example, if a modeling agency needs a young male model for a particular job, the agency can specifically limit marketing and consideration for the position based on age and gender. If such a bona fide occupational qualification does not exist, however, a company may not discriminate based on protected factors.
In addition, an employer cannot ask questions on a job application or in a job interview. Questions that are prohibited may relate to the following:
- Pregnancy or future plans for pregnancy;
- Immigration status;
- Sex or sexual orientation;
- Marital status;
- Race, ethnicity, or national origin;
- Religious beliefs;
- Age (unless it is to verify the applicant is old enough to work based on child labor laws or alcohol laws);
- Mental or physical disabilities.
It is important to note that if you bring up any of the above topics in an interview or volunteer information, the company can then address these issues. Harassment based on sex, race, religion, or similar factors is expressly prohibited during the interview process.
If you are offered a position, you then have additional rights during the hiring process. You have a right to know how much you will be paid for the hours you work and what benefits may be available to you. You have the right to be informed of certain policies as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the Department of Labor (DOL). You also have a right against an employer’s false promises. If you sign an employment contract or have an implied contract based on promises made verbally, the employer has the obligation to abide by all of the terms of that contract. If the employer fails to follow up on these promises, you have the right to take legal action.
Schedule A Consultation With A Florida Employment Attorney
Your rights can be violated throughout every step of employment, from the application and hiring process to termination. If you believe you were discriminated against, wrongfully denied a job, or that your rights were violated in any other way during hiring, you should consult with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer who can advise you of your rights under Florida law. Please do not hesitate to call the law office of Robert S. Norell at 305-405-9243 for help.