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

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

Protected classes. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act prohibits questions on application forms or in job interviews that ask about an applicant's race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age (40 years and older), sex, national origin, or disability, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) (Pa. Stat. tit. 43, § 951 et seq.). The act also prohibits discrimination against an individual who uses a guide or support animal because of blindness, deafness, or other disability. The act covers all public employers and private employers with four or more employees.
Religious, fraternal, charitable, and sectarian organizations with four or more employees are permitted to make employment inquiries about an applicant's religious creed. More information is available at the Pennsylvania discrimination page.
Disabilities. Before an offer of employment has been made, applicants may not be asked whether they have a disability or about the nature or severity of any disability. Employers may ask applicants whether they can perform the essential functions of the job in question. After an offer of employment is made, an employer may make inquiries about an applicant's disability. It is unlawful for an employer to exclude or otherwise deny equal jobs or benefits to a person because they are known to have an association or relationship with an individual with a handicap or disability. More information is available at the Pennsylvania Disabilities section.
BFOQ exception. An employer may make an employment inquiry about one of the characteristics listed above only if it is reasonably necessary to the essence of the normal operation of the employer's business, and there is no less-intrusive way to ensure ...

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