The Alaska Human Rights Law makes it unlawful for an employer to use a job application form that directly or indirectly expresses a limitation, specification, or discrimination about an applicant's race, religion, color, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, sex, marital status, changes in marital status, pregnancy, or parenthood (AK Stat. Sec. 18.80.220). The law applies to all employers in the state except social clubs and nonprofit fraternal, charitable, educational, or religious associations or corporations.
It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an individual who has opposed an unlawful discriminatory practice, filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in a proceeding under the law.
The BFOQ exception allows an employer to make an employment inquiry only where the inquiry is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the employer's business, and there is no less intrusive way to ensure that the applicant will be able to perform the essential functions of the job in question. In order to be a BFOQ, a characteristic must be absolutely essential to the applicant's ability to perform the job. For example, being female would be a legitimate BFOQ for a person applying for a job as a model of women's clothing. The BFOQ exception applies only in limited circumstances, and in general, courts have been extremely reluctant to sanction otherwise discriminatory practices on BFOQ grounds. Employers should use caution in relying on the BFOQ rationale and should always consult with legal counsel before making any inquiries on the basis of a BFOQ.