Georgia has no comprehensive antidiscrimination law that covers private employers, but there are separate state laws that apply to preemployment inquiries related to an applicant's age or disability.
The Georgia Age Discrimination Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of age (GA Code Sec. 34-1-2). The Act protects applicants between the ages of 40 and 70. Asking applicants direct questions about age would likely violate the Act, unless the reasonable demands of the position require an age distinction. The Act covers all public and private employers.
The Georgia Equal Employment for Persons with Disabilities Code prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of physical or mental disability, unless the disability restricts the ability of the individual to perform the job or if a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception applies. The Code covers public and private employers with 15 or more employees (GA Code Sec. 34-6A-1 et seq.).
BFOQ exception. An employer may make an employment inquiry about a protected characteristic 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, 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 ...