Arkansas Hiring laws & HR compliance analysis

Arkansas Hiring: What you need to know

The Arkansas Civil Rights Act prohibits hiring practices that discriminate based on race, religion, national origin, gender, or disability (AR Stat. Sec. 16-123-105 et seq.). The Act covers employers with nine or more employees. Separate laws prohibit age and disability discrimination in public employment. In addition, employers may not refuse to hire someone who has been prescribed medical marijuana. Additional information is available.
Age discrimination: public employers. Arkansas law prohibits public employers from discriminating based on age (40 years and older), unless age constitutes a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ)—i.e., an age limitation or qualification is necessary in order to perform the job in question (AR Code Sec. 21-3-201 et seq.).
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Employers are prohibited from seeking, obtaining, requiring, or using a genetic test or genetic information to restrict any right or benefit otherwise available to an applicant or to discriminate against an applicant (AR Stat. Sec. 11-5-403).
Employers are prohibited from requiring an applicant or employee to take a physical or medical examination unless the examination is provided at no cost to the applicant or employee and a copy of the examination report is provided free of charge to the applicant or employee (AR Code Sec. 11-3-203).
State law permits voluntary polygraph testing, provided it is conducted by a state-licensed polygraph examiner (AR Code Sec. 17-39-101 et seq.). However, under the federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988, most private employers are prohibited from requiring employees or prospective employees to submit to lie detector tests.

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