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EMPLOYMENT LAW GUIDE: - page 46 / 134





46 / 134

Section 1.2(L) above. Moreover, an employer may not ask former supervisors or references

anything that it is not permitted to ask the applicant.


Permissible Inquiries

An employer may always ask a job applicant about her ability to perform specific job

functions. An employer can also ask about the applicant’s qualifications and skills, such as

education, work history or required licenses. In general, all pre-employment questions

should focus on an applicant’s ability to do the job.

An employer can ask applicants to describe or demonstrate how they would perform

specific tasks, with or without an accommodation, provided that all applicants in the same

job category are asked to do this. For example, if the job requires heavy lifting, the employer

can ask all applicants to demonstrate or describe how they would lift the weight. If the

applicant needs a reasonable accommodation to do the demonstration, the employer can

either provide the accommodation or ask the applicant to describe how she would perform

the task.

It is permissible for employers to ask whether an applicant can meet the attendance

requirements for the job and to inquire about the applicant’s attendance record at a former

job. Employers may ask an applicant if she is authorized to work in the United States. See

Part II, Section 2.1(B)(4) below.

EXAMPLES OF QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK AN APPLICANT (provided they are job related)

  • Are you able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation, for which you are applying? If so, describe how you would perform these job-related functions. (Note: If there is no written job description available, describe the job and its essential functions.)

  • Can you move 50 pounds from point A to point B?


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