Protected classes. The Maine Human Rights Act prohibits employers from inquiring about, or attempting to elicit, information that is directly or indirectly related to an applicant's race, color, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, previous claim brought under the Workers' Compensation Act, or protected action under the Whistleblower's Act, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 5, § 4551 et seq.; Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 26, § 831 et seq.; Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 39-A, § 101 et seq.). The law applies to all public and private employers.
Effective July 19, 2022, the term “race” includes traits associated with race such as hair texture, Afro hairstyles, and protective hairstyles. A “protective hairstyle” is defined to include braids, twists, and locks.
Questions about a disability. Employers may not ask about the existence, nature, or extent of an applicant's disability until after a conditional offer of employment has been made (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 5, § 4572(2)). Employers may ask if an applicant is able to perform job-related functions.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) testing. Employers are prohibited from requiring an applicant or employee to submit to an AIDS test as a condition of employment or to maintain employment unless based on a BFOQ (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 5, § 19201 et seq.). Informed consent is required for AIDS testing, and the disclosure of results is strictly limited.
Criminal history. State law allows agencies to consider criminal records in relation to occupational licenses. If denied a license on the basis of the criminal records check, an applicant must receive notice. A record of ...