Under the Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act, employers may not make inquiries of or impose qualifications on prospective employees based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, place of birth, age, or physical or mental condition, unless membership in a particular group is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 494 et seq.). The BFOQ exception applies only in limited circumstances, and in general, courts have been extremely reluctant to sanction otherwise discriminatory practices on BFOQ grounds.
In Vermont, employers may not discriminate between employees based on sex by paying wages to employees of one sex at a lower rate than to employees of the other sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions.
The Act applies to all public and private employers.
Polygraph examinations. With a few industry-specific exceptions, employers may not request or require that applicants take a polygraph examination, nor may they refuse to hire an applicant who refuses or declines a polygraph exam (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 494a).
Disclosure of wages. Employers may not prohibit employees from disclosing the amount of their wages. In addition, employers may not discipline, discharge, or discriminate against an employee who does reveal the amount of salary he or she is earning (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495(8)(B)).
HIV-related blood tests. The Act also makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person who has tested positive for an HIV-related disease (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495(a)(5)). Employers are prohibited from requesting or requiring an HIV-related ...