You might already know that employers cannot ask questions regarding your age (besides whether you are at least 18), race, religion or disability in an interview. Other questions you might be asked in an interview may seem like harmless and innocuous questions tossed out by a potential employer. Perhaps the interview is on the casual side and an employer asks you whether you are married or have any children.
You may be tempted to answer questions like these, especially because such a tough job market may make you eager to please a potential employer, but many questions that an employer might ask in an interview or on an application could amount to discrimination.
A recent article appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle lays out some of the questions that an employer is not allowed to ask a potential employee, including some of the more innocent-seeming questions, such as those regarding family life.
For example, questions about your marital status are illegal, which includes asking whether someone prefers to be referred to as Mrs. or Miss. It is also illegal to inquire about pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition or to refuse to hire someone based on pregnancy under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Whether or not the employer intentionally meant to ask you an illegal question, it is your right to choose not to answer it.
8 Things Employers Aren't Allowed to Ask You (San Francisco Chronicle)