The Alaska Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race or color (AK Stat. Sec. 18.80.010 et seq.). The Law applies to all employers in the state, except social clubs, and fraternal, charitable, educational, or religious associations or corporations, as long as the corporation or association is not-for-profit. Under the state law, it is unlawful to:
• Refuse employment, terminate employment, or discriminate against a person in compensation or in the terms or conditions of employment because of an individual's race or color.
• Discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against a person because the person has opposed any practices forbidden under the state law or because the person has filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in a proceeding under the law.
• Print a statement, inquiry, or advertisement for employment that directly expresses a limitation, specification, or discrimination as to race or color, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
• Aid, abet, incite, compel, or coerce the doing of discriminatory acts.
• Discriminate or retaliate against any person who has lawfully opposed discrimination or has assisted in any proceeding under the state law.
Only in very rare circumstances is it permissible to hire an individual on the basis of race or color because of a BFOQ reasonably necessary for the job in question (e.g., hiring actors to portray individuals of a certain race). Employers should exercise extreme caution in making employment decisions that have a disproportionate impact on a protected group.