Questions Parents Cannot Legally Ask Nannies in a Job Interview

What’s the Worst Question You Have Ever Been Asked on a Nanny Job Interview?

Nannies are supposed to be protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlaws discrimination against workers based on race, color, religion, or national origin. Although parents that hire household staff aren’t legally allowed to base their hiring decisions on a job candidates race, sexual orientation, or if they are married or not, it often seems that parents can ask any question they want of their household staff, whether the question is legal or not.

Here are just a few topics nanny candidates should never be asked about in a job interview:

Health and Disabilities:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits general inquiries about disabilities, health problems, and medical conditions. To sidestep questions about health and disabilities parents should simply ask if there are any reasons the caregiver may not be able to perform the job duties required for the job.

Your Race or Nationality of Your Family:
All workers are protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There is no reason for employers to ask their household staff about their nationality or ethnicity.

Your Sexual Orientation:
Sexual orientation has no bearing on job performance.

Marital Status:
It is illegal to ask employees their marital status.

Your Religion:
Parents can share their religious practices, beliefs, and customs with job seekers and then ask the nanny candidate if they would have any conflicts with working for them because they follow these beliefs.

How Old You Are:
Age is a sensitive pre-employment question, because the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects employees 40-years-old and above. Potential employers may only ask that you are legal working age.


  1. And yet all online nanny employment sites ask for the nanny's age – and then post it as part of their profile.

  2. Although no one would probably do anything legally about it, parents who ask such questions will def turn the nanny off. Why would anyone work for parents that asks questions about this things? None of their business. Parents should be held to the same liability of all other employers: pay taxes, ask only legal questions, pay minimum wage, and so on…

  3. I was wondering:
    If it’s illegal dor an employer to ask how old a Nanny is then is it illegal for emplyers agencies to ask how old a Nanny is? I would think they’ll find out when you show your ID or driver’s license. I wonder if parents can ask the Agency how old the Nanny is.

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