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

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

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 Sec. 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.
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Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) policy. The state employees' AIDS policy regulations prohibit state employers from discriminating against an individual with AIDS or human immunodeficiency virus or requiring individuals to be tested as a condition of employment (PA Stat. Tit. 43 Sec. 7.431et seq.).
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.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compared. The federal ADA is similar to Pennsylvania law on the issue of preemployment inquiries. The Act covers employers with 15 or more employees.
An employer may make an employment inquiry about one of the characteristics listed above only if ...

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