Age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits age discrimination against persons aged 40 and older. The Iowa Civil Rights Act goes a step farther by prohibiting discrimination against persons aged 18 and older.
Arrests. An arrest is no indication of guilt. Requesting such information can discourage minority applicants and is
illegal. If you ask about convictions, make sure a statement accompanies the question that a conviction will not necessarily disqualify the applicant from
Availability to work on weekends and evenings. This is acceptable if asked of all
applicants and it is a business necessity for the person to be available to work at those times.
Citizenship, birthplace and national origin. The fair and advisable way to obtain is
this information is to ask: “Are you
either a U.S. citizen or an alien authorized to work in the United States?” The “yes” or “no” answer provides all needed information without disclosing if the applicant is a citizen or an alien.
Creed or religion. Not an acceptable
question unless religion is a bona fide occupational qualification.
Credit records. Not an acceptable
question unless it is job related.
Disability. It is acceptable to ask if the applicant can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. Make sure you have identified and provided the applicant with those essential functions before you ask the question.
Family status. An acceptable
question only when determining if the applicant has responsibilities or commitments that would interfere with work schedules and,
if asked of all applicants, regardless of gender.
Height and weight. Not an
acceptable question unless it is job related.
Language. An acceptable question only if
it is job related. It is not acceptable to require a person to read and write English if the person can be shown how to do the job or instructed verbally. It can be acceptable if there is a risk of personal safety.
Sex, gender preference. Not an acceptable
question unless it is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).