The New Hampshire Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of religious creed, which includes religious beliefs, practices, and observances (NH Rev. Stat. 354-A:1et seq.). The law applies to public employers and private employers with six or more employees. Under the law, it is unlawful to:
• Refuse to hire or discharge or to discriminate in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, unless the action is based upon a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
• Print or circulate any statement, advertisement, or publication, or to use any form of application for employment that expresses any limitation, specification, or discrimination as to religion, unless the action is based upon a BFOQ.
• Make any inquiry or record in connection with employment that expresses any limitation, specification, or discrimination as to religion, unless the inquiry is based upon a BFOQ.
• Discharge or otherwise retaliate against any person because he or she has filed a complaint of discrimination or had testified or assisted in any proceeding under the law.
Not-for-profit religious associations or corporations. It is not an unlawful employment practice for not-for-profit religious associations or corporations to give employment preferences to individuals of the same religion or denomination.
BFOQ. It is permissible to hire an individual on the basis of religion because of a BFOQ for the position in question (e.g., hiring a Jewish rabbi to oversee the preparation of kosher food). The BFOQ exception is narrowly interpreted, however, and employers should be very cautious in relying on such a rationale when making employment decisions that may have a ...