The Idaho Human Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age (40 years of age or older), national origin, or disability (ID Code Sec. 67-5901 et seq.). It is unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire, or to otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment on the basis of any protected characteristic. The law covers all public and private employers with five or more employees for 20 or more calendar weeks during the current or preceding calendar year.
The Idaho Commission on Human Rights offers the following guidelines regarding application forms:
• Don’t make inquiries into areas that will send up red flags. Don’t ask applicants to state their race, sex, age, color, national origin, religious preference, or medical problems.
• Before including questions on an application or in an interview session, ask yourself: Does this information have an adverse impact on any protected group? Is there a business necessity behind the question?
• Some selection procedures have an adverse impact on members of a particular race, sex, or ethnic group. For example, asking a job candidate’s height on an application form and failing to hire persons who are not at least 5'9" has an adverse impact against women, Asian Americans, and Hispanics. This means that a disproportionately higher percentage of applicants from these groups will be screened out because they are too short. Is the information needed in order to determine if the person can really do the job? Can only those who are 5'9" perform the job in a safe and efficient manner? An employer that uses height as a screening ...