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Arkansas Application Forms: What you need to know

The state of Arkansas does not have any specific laws that prohibit any form of questioning on application forms. However, the Arkansas Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability (AR Stat. Sec. 16-123-102 et seq.). Under federal law, private employers with 20 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants on the basis of age (40 years or older). Generally, an employer that asks questions about any of these characteristics, either directly or indirectly, is likely to violate the Act unless the characteristic is job related. The Act covers employers with nine or more employees in the state of Arkansas employed for 20 or more weeks in the current or preceding year (AR Stat. Sec. 16-123-102).
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Retaliation prohibited. It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against any individual for opposing any unlawful discriminatory practice, or for filing a charge, testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the Act (AR Stat. Sec. 16-123-108).
An employer may make an employment inquiry about one of the protected characteristics only if it is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the employer's business, and there is no less intrusive way to ensure that the applicant will be able to perform the essential functions of the job in question. In order to be a BFOQ, a characteristic must be absolutely essential to the applicant's ability to perform the job. For example, ...

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