The Kentucky Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 344.010 et seq.). Under the Kentucky Equal Opportunities Act, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and related diseases are considered disabilities (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 207.135). Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exceptions are permitted under both Acts (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 207.150 and Sec. 344.040).
Employers covered. The Civil Rights Act applies to employers with 15 or more employees wherever mental or physical disability is an issue (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 344.030(2)). The Equal Opportunities Act applies only to physical disabilities and AIDS and covers employers with eight or more employees (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 207.150). This means that individuals with mental disabilities are only protected under the Civil Rights Act in instances where an employer has 15 or more employees.
In order to be a BFOQ, a characteristic must be absolutely essential to the applicant's ability to perform the job. For example, being female would be a legitimate BFOQ for a person applying for a job as a model of women's clothing. The BFOQ exception applies only in limited circumstances, and, in general, courts have been extremely reluctant to sanction otherwise discriminatory practices on BFOQ grounds. Employers should use caution in relying on the BFOQ rationale and should always consult with legal counsel before making any inquiries on the basis of a BFOQ.
The Civil Rights Act protects a qualified individual with a disability. A qualified individual with a disability is an individual with a mental or physical ...