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Anne O’Gorman had a great chat with Deirdre O’Shaughnessy on Corks 96FM yesterday about a letter that was sent into them. Here is the transcript:

‘I’m new mom who’s looking going back to work and started looking for jobs, so far no luck, recently I went for job interview and got email to get back for another one to meet potential future manager. Interview was going fine till she asked about my future plans (I have disclosed that I got toddler at home) I stated that I would like career in the company, she asked me am I planning to have more kids, needless to say I wasn’t prepared for this question and rest of interview went a bit off the rails. She told me, they will be interviewing more people and get back to me in about a week, but instead I received rejection email next day staying “Unfortunately you don’t meet minimum criteria for this position”. 

Was I discriminated? Should I never disclose my family status? Should I remove engagement ring when going for interview? 

I still would like to work in the company, but I feel that if I bring to HR I would be flagged in future interviews also is kind of ironic but company prides themselves with good benefits for staff members and all inclusive policy.’

Employmum’s response:

The interview process is subject to numerous employment laws designed to protect applicants and ensure them a fair shot in the selection process. You cannot ask questions about any of the 9 grounds of discrimination outlined in the Employment Equality Acts, 1998‐2004, namely: age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, family status, marital status, race, religion, membership of the travelling community.

A claim under the Employment Equality Acts, 1998‐2004 can cost a company up to twice annual salary and also considerable monies from non‐selected candidates if their claim is justified on any of the 9 grounds of discrimination.

We would hope that the future of work will entitle everyone in the workplace the flexibility they require to live their lives with equitable balance between the time at work and the time to oneself, so that a hiring manager will not it necessary to ask such questions.

Until then, an interviewee does have rights – for example, a candidate can request to see the notes of the interview for example – an employer is required to take detailed notes of every interview which must be kept for 12 months. This might be an option for this lady.

Life is Short. Work Somewhere Flexible.