Arkansas Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing) laws & HR compliance analysis

Arkansas Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing): What you need to know

Protected classes. The Arkansas Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, but it does not specifically address the issue of preemployment inquiries on application forms or in job interviews (Ark. Code. § 16-123-101 et seq.).. However, questions that ask applicants about any of these characteristics, either directly or indirectly, are likely to violate the act unless the characteristic is job-related. The act covers all public and private employers with nine or more employees.
Age. The Arkansas Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits age discrimination in public employment for those who are 40 years of age or older (Ark. Code § 21-3-201). Questions regarding an applicant's age will likely violate the act.
Medical marijuana. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016 legalizes under state law the use of medical marijuana by patients with “qualifying medical conditions” (to be determined) who possess written certification from a doctor. The amendment provides that qualifying patients shall not be subjected to discrimination by employers with nine or more employees. More information is available at the Arkansas alcohol and drugs testing section.
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Genetic information. Employers are prohibited from requesting or requiring applicants to submit to a genetic test (Ark. Code § 11-5-403). Employers may not obtain or use an applicant's genetic information to discriminate against the applicant or to restrict any right or benefit otherwise due or available to an ...

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