Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Direct Service Workers to Provide Self-Directed HCBS

Avoid Discriminatory Questions

1. Listen

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Three people sitting at a table. They appear to be filling out paperwork for one person sitting at the table.

2. Read

It is illegal to ask some kinds of questions at interviews.   Make sure you know what federal law and your state laws say about the kinds of questions that you are not allowed to ask. These regulations protect applicants based on: race, color, or nation of origin; sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation; pregnancy status; and disability. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a list of questions that are illegal to ask during interviews.  Check with your state's Labor Department or Human Rights Commission to see if your state has additional rules about questions that can or cannot be asked.

3. Reflect

What do you think?

Denny uses a wheelchair and needs assistance to get out of bed in the morning and to get into bed at night.  He has had problems with DSWs cancelling shifts because they had scheduling problems due to family matters.  Denny wants to ask if the people applying for a job have small children.  What should Denny do?

Asking if people have children is considered discriminatory in most states.  Denny can't ask people about their family status.  Denny can ask "Are you able to work evenings, early mornings, or weekend hours?"

Correct!  Denny learned that asking about family status in his state was illegal.  Instead Denny asked "Are you able to work mornings, evenings or weekened hours?"  By letting DSWs know what the hours of the position will be, they can decide if it is the right match for them.