The Rhode Island Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits questions on application forms or in job interviews that directly or indirectly ask about an applicant's race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age (40 years of age or older), or ancestry, unless the characteristic is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-5-1 et seq.). The law covers all public employers and private employers with four or more employees.
A guideline issued by the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights provides information for employers about lawful and unlawful preemployment inquiries. The guideline is available through the Commission's website at http://www.richr.ri.gov
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) policy. It is unlawful to discriminate against an individual who has, or is perceived to have, tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. Testing requires an individual's informed consent (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 23-6.3-11).
Smoker's rights. It is unlawful to refuse to hire or in any way discriminate against an applicant or employee who smokes or uses tobacco products (RI Gen. Laws. Sec. 23-20.10-14). An individual alleging a violation of the law may bring a civil action in state court to enforce rights provided under the law. Remedies include treble damages, court costs, and injunctive relief.