Employers are permitted to observe the terms of a bona fide seniority or benefit plan (including retirement, pension, or insurance plans) as long as these measures are not designed to evade the Fair Employment Practices Act. Employers may also distinguish between smokers and nonsmokers for insurance benefits purposes but otherwise may not discriminate against employees based on off-duty smoking, except for BFOQ. The Fair Employment Practices Act does not apply to religious organizations or associations.
Generally, an employer may hire an individual on the basis of a BFOQ reasonably necessary to the normal operation of a particular business (e.g., having a females-only policy for models of women's clothing). Such situations are rare, however, and employers should be cautious in relying on these classifications when making employment decisions.
Public employers. Effective July 1, 2017, all public departments in the state government are required to give veterans or their surviving spouses a “preference prior to the interview process” (