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

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

Protected classes. The Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, pregnancy and related medical conditions, age, or disability but does not specifically address the issue of preemployment inquiries (Va. Code § 2.2-3900 et seq.). As a general rule, however, asking questions about any of these characteristics, either on an application form or in a job interview, may be interpreted as evidence of an employer's intent to discriminate if an applicant later claims unlawful discrimination. The act covers employers with more than 5 but fewer than 15 employees.
Disabilities. The Virginians with Disabilities Act (VDA) also prohibits employment practices that discriminate against qualified individuals with a disability (Va. Code § 51.5-41). The VDA covers all employers, regardless of size.
Criminal history. In Virginia, employers are prohibited from requiring an applicant for employment to disclose information concerning any arrest or criminal charge against him or her that has been expunged. Applicants do not have to answer any question concerning arrests or criminal charges that have not resulted in conviction. Employers that violate this law are guilty of a misdemeanor. Questions on employment applications related to criminal history should be limited to situations where the applicant was found guilty of a crime or entered a plea of nolo contendere (Va. Code § 19.2-392.4).
Virginia does not have a statewide ban-the-box law, but state agencies and localities may not ask applicants to complete an application that contains a question about prior criminal arrests, charges, or convictions (Va. Code § ...

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