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.
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
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?