Discrimination. The West Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits hiring practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, ancestry, blindness, or disability, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) (W.V. Code § 5-11-1 et seq.). The Act expressly prohibits employers from printing or publishing any employment notice or advertisement that indicates any preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on a protected characteristic. Employers are also prohibited from asking job applicants about a protected characteristic or using an application form to obtain such information. The use of a quota system to deny or limit employment on the basis of a protected characteristic is also unlawful.
Protected activity. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against a person who has opposed an unlawful discriminatory practice, filed a complaint, or testified or assisted in any proceeding under the Act.
Apprenticeships. The Act also applies to apprenticeship programs and requires employers to base admission decisions on objective criteria.
The Act covers all public employers and private employers with 12 or more employees. There is additional information.
BFOQ exception. The BFOQ exception is limited to those situations in which a characteristic is essential to a particular position (e.g., being female would be a legitimate BFOQ for a person applying for a job modeling women's clothing). BFOQ exceptions are interpreted very narrowly by the courts, and employers should be extremely cautious when considering the use of a BFOQ.
Hiring preference for veterans. Employers may give preference in hiring to a veteran or disabled veteran who has been ...