Protected classes. The West Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age (40 and older), sex, national origin, ancestry, blindness (defined by statute), or disability. The act specifically prohibits asking job applicants about any of these characteristics, either on an application form or in an interview, unless there is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) (W.V. Code § 5-11-1 et seq.). The act covers private employers with 12 or more employees within the state and all state and local government agencies, regardless of size.
Disabilities. The West Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits employers from asking an applicant if he or she has a physical or mental impairment, or inquiring as to the nature or severity of an impairment (W.V. Admin. Code § 77-1-5). However, an employer may ask an applicant about his or her ability to perform job-related functions. An employer may require a medical examination after it has extended a job offer and may condition the offer on the results of the examination if all applicants are subject to the examination and all medical information is kept in separate medical files, treated as confidential medical documents, and used only in compliance with the law. Employers may disclose medical information to:
• Supervisors and managers to inform them of necessary work restrictions and accommodations;
• First-aid and safety personnel, if the disability might require emergency treatment; and
• On request, government officials investigating compliance with the ct.
A test to determine the illegal use of drugs is not considered a medical examination under the act.
Records.Employers are prohibited from making ...