Whether you are employed or seeking employment, it can be challenging to stand up to an employer if they are asking you to do something unlawful. Learning your rights as an applicant or employee is essential so you can protect yourself against unlawful conduct.
For example, there are certain questions an employer cannot legally ask you during a job interview. An employer also cannot ask you to completely refrain from using social media, nor can they require you to sign unreasonable non-compete agreements.
There is a fine line between what an employer legally can and cannot ask you to do in California. At Blackstone Law, we have extensive experience in employment law and we have the resources and strategies necessary to protect our clients’ rights. If your employer violated your legal rights by asking you to take unlawful actions in the workplace, speak with us about your legal options.
4 Actions Employers Cannot Ask You to Take in California
Every job candidate and employee deserves a fair opportunity to gain employment and excel in the workplace based on their performance alone. However, some employers may take unlawful actions that unreasonably interfere with your career. These actions may include:
1. Asking You to Answer Off-Limits Questions During a Job Interview
Some topics are off-limits during a job interview and hiring process to minimize the potential for discriminatory decision-making. Topics may include the following:
- Age: Your employer cannot ask you to answer questions about your age. For example, they may ask when you graduated high school or college to get a sense of your age.
- Race: Your employer may not ask you about your country of origin and ancestry. They may not ask about your accent or where your parents originate from. Employers may only ask if you can legally work in the US.
- Religious or political beliefs: Religious and political affiliations should never be discussed during the hiring process due to the potential conscious or unconscious bias it may create.
- Gender or sexual identity: You can refuse to answer questions related to gender and sexual identity if it is generally deemed irrelevant to the job you are applying for.
If your employer asked you to answer personal questions during the hiring process or in the workplace, speak with the employment lawyers at Blackstone Law for an assessment of your case.
2. Asking You Not to Use Social Media
Although it is not illegal for an employer to look at your social media accounts, companies may only access the information you have made public. Any information protected by privacy limitations is off-limits. For example, in California, employers are not allowed to ask for your social media account login credentials.
According to The National Labor Relations Act, companies may not ask their employees to avoid publicly discussing their employment. These regulations enable employees to utilize social media for organizing and unionizing. Employers are prohibited from stopping such actions.
3. Asking You to Sign Unreasonable Non-Compete Agreements
Signing a non-compete agreement may be a standard practice in some professions. However, the agreement becomes unlawful when it unfairly favors the employer with stipulations that make it near impossible to find a new job.
4. Asking You Not to Discuss Your Salary and Pay With Coworkers
Prohibiting workers from discussing salary and pay is unlawful, as employers can take advantage of employees or pay unequally across different demographics.
Speak With the Award-Winning Employment Lawyers at Blackstone Law
Although there are federal and state laws in place that aim to protect employees from unlawful conduct, these actions still occur. If your employer asks you to take any actions that violate your legal rights, you may hold them accountable with the help of the employment lawyers at Blackstone Law.