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New state & federal labor laws? Utah

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  • New state & federal labor laws? Utah

    I have applied at a few places for work, and I keep getting asked "if you're not working now, where does your money come from?" In one instance that is word for word. I think I have brought that here before.

    Though I have been asked this before, recently the inquiry was made and the manager that interviewed me told me that it's a new law in place so the employer can reimburse the state. When I ask about the law everytime I am refused that info and told in several instances it's part of the Patriot Act. Yes, I have been told this before, but I brushed it off. Now, I don't plan on brushing it off.

    So I ask, first is there really a law that says the employer now has the right to ask such questions about personal finances? Second, what law is it and what does it say? Third, shouldn't I have rights regarding this? I have filed complaints in the past to both the Utah State Labor Commission (I forget the actual name) and the EEOC, but they have been unresponsive.
    I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
    Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
    I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
    Don't worry, be happy.

    http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

  • #2
    I am not aware of any new law. However, employers have always had the right to inquire about finances/past salaries.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

    Comment


    • #3
      CJ, what did you allege was done wrong when you filed with the EEOC? The charges I have seen usually have a box checked off as how you feel the law was violated.

      I am with cbg that there isn't a law against this. The company might be trying to see if you have another job or a reason that would make you unqualified for the position (maybe just got out of jail). Not a question I would ask but I can see why others would.

      Comment


      • #4
        There was a bit of time where some employers were getting a tax credit for new hires who I think had lost work within a specific time period due to "economic stimulus" , but I think that has expired. That's about the only thing I can think of that comes even remotely close to a law requiring them to do so. But I can't imagine that is how I would phrase it if I wanted to know it for that reason.

        However, like others have posted, they can ask. There is no law against that.

        Comment


        • #5
          If it is in the Patriot Act, it is a section I am not familiar with (though it is possible that for certain industries a complete accounting of employment and activities is required). While not elegantly phrased, I can understand why it is asked. It is not so much they care how you derive income but anytime there is an absence from the workforce, it calls for an explanation. Employers also want to know salary history and expectations. It is legal to ask even if there are better ways of phrasing the question. Just like any other interview question, you are free to answer or not though there are better ways of handling that as well.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

          Comment


          • #6
            The problem is when I am asked about my money, these people have no way to verify it. That is a known fact. And when an employer does ask such a question and I answer honestly, their remark usually offends me. It is an annuity from a personal injury case 20 years ago. And then they ask more questions. Like if I actually "earned" it. Or when I have been called a "trust fund baby". Yeah. A "trust fund baby" that was comatose for nearly 2 weeks and then spent 9-1/2 months in the hospital. Or when I am refused employment with the comment "you don't need the money".

            No, it is an annuity, in the past even the EEOC has informed me that it is disability/medically-related information and it is an illegal question.
            In the end it is no one's business, and no employer has any authority to verify this. That, in particular, was made clear by a state district judge when he ordered those records sealed.

            No one understands, it feels, how insulting it is when I am discriminated against because of something people either know little or nothing of. I should not have to give them a college course in understanding the disabled and alternate disability income resources.
            I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
            Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
            I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
            Don't worry, be happy.

            http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by cactus jack View Post
              The problem is when I am asked about my money, these people have no way to verify it. That is a known fact. And when an employer does ask such a question and I answer honestly, their remark usually offends me. It is an annuity from a personal injury case 20 years ago. And then they ask more questions. Like if I actually "earned" it. Or when I have been called a "trust fund baby". Yeah. A "trust fund baby" that was comatose for nearly 2 weeks and then spent 9-1/2 months in the hospital. Or when I am refused employment with the comment "you don't need the money".

              No, it is an annuity, in the past even the EEOC has informed me that it is disability/medically-related information and it is an illegal question.
              In the end it is no one's business, and no employer has any authority to verify this. That, in particular, was made clear by a state district judge when he ordered those records sealed.

              No one understands, it feels, how insulting it is when I am discriminated against because of something people either know little or nothing of. I should not have to give them a college course in understanding the disabled and alternate disability income resources.
              I don't think the EEOC or a state judge can override the Patriot Act. Did the EEOC actually use the word "illegal question"?

              Comment


              • #8
                It is not an "illegal question", just probably ill advised as any other medical question might be. If asked, I wouldn't get into the details, just state that you have been managing properties you own (at least I think you have) or whatever other activities you have engaged in for the past however many years, and that you have some investments (which is what an annuity is technically). My best guess is they are wondering why you are taking a job now. The fear is that if you have been out of the workplace for some period of time, you will have difficulty adjusting to that sort of structure. I know I always look twice at resumes with large gaps, not that I don't consider them, but I will ask how the person has filled that time. Mostly, I want to know the person is serious about rejoining the workforce and isn't going to quit soon after hire. In some industries, I would want to know how the candidate has kept their skills current.

                sample answer:

                "I took a few years off after my last job laid me off (or whatever it was) to manage some properties I own, volunteer with XYZ and go back to school. I have some investments which have allowed me to do this, but now I am ready to put those skills I learned to good use as a X for your company."
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                Comment


                • #9
                  That's a really good response from Elle and pretty much answers their question without getting into the actual details. That's the type of answer you need to find. Not one full of details that disclose a prior/current disability, etc. You could also just state "I have lived very frugally " -- well that is if you didn't drive your Lamborghini to the interview

                  I will say I have hired a lot of people who didn't need an income (usually stay at home moms coming back into the workforce to have something to occupy their time once kids are older) and have found that has higher turnover than those that need the income to live on. So I can understand the reasoning beyond the question, which may not be the one you are thinking.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It may be a reference to WOTC (Work Opportunity Tax Credit) which gives employers tax credits for hiring certain groups.
                    This includes veterans who have been out of work for a period of time, people who have been on food stamps (SNAP), those on temporary assistant to Needy Families (TANF), those that have gone thru Voc Rehab, certain ex-felons, or received SS Supplemental income .

                    If the employee qualifies, there is a tax credit of between $1200 and about $9600 per year.

                    That's my guess.
                    I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
                    Thomas Jefferson

                    Comment

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