Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) is a provision in the United States employment law. This provision is a defense to recognized discrimination that is usually based on the presence of a facially discriminatory policy. An example of a facially discriminatory policy is a policy that people beyond 50 years shall not be employed as police officers. In U.S. employment discrimination law, Bona Fide Occupational Qualification policy is contained in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Generally, a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification is an employment requirement that is logically necessary to the ordinary performance of a job. As a provision in employment law, Bona Fide Occupational Qualification has certain requirements and can be applied in various situations where it has considerable impacts on people.
Law of Bona Fide Occupational Qualification
Employment laws in the United States generally prohibit discrimination against people on the basis of race, nationality, religion, age, and other safeguarded statuses. However, in some situations the nature of the job itself necessitates the selection of candidates based on factors that are basically protected characteristics (FindLaw, p.1). Despite ensuring protection against discrimination, the employment laws provide these kinds of employment considerations through a provision that is known as a bona fide occupational qualification exception.
A BFOQ exception is a legal requirement that is logically necessary to the typical performance of a job such being a particular gender or age or having the capability to lift...
This implies that without fulfilling such requirements, the candidate or employee would be unable to perform the job. According to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, employers are permitted to discriminate against a candidate on the basis of nationality, religion, and sex in situations where such characteristics are reasonably necessary to the common functioning of the specific enterprise, business, or job. The Age in Discrimination in Employment Act extends this narrow exception to include discrimination based on age.
Even though nationality, sex, and religion may be regarded as bona fide occupational qualification in limited contexts, race can never meet such requirements. In essence, the exceptions to discrimination in employment practices can never include race as a characteristic for the discrimination. Actually, in situations where a candidate's or employee's race is important to a particular artistic objective or story, the First Amendment to the Constitution supersedes Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Therefore, this exception is only applicable to situations where it is regarded or justified as a necessity to the normal performance and operation of a certain job or business. As a result, a defense to recognized discrimination is always dependant on the presence of a facially discriminatory policy.
In a lawsuit regarding discrimination in employment decisions and practices, an employer can invoke the bona fide occupational qualification defense. In this case, the employer must demonstrate that he/she established a policy based on the necessary requirements for the normal operation and performance of the job. The court will basically make a determination of the case based on whether the specific facts in the situation are tantamount to a bona fide occupational qualification defense. However, the defense or exception is probably illegitimate if it does not include the specific characteristics stipulated in the law.
Requirements of Bona Fide Occupational Qualification
Courts are usually very cautious to only permit very limited exceptions to the prohibition of discrimination against a safeguarded status with no exception to a case of race (FindLaw, p.1).…
BFOQ Define BFOQ and list to which characteristics it applies The bonafide occupational qualification BFOQ is a valid defense against allegations of discrimination where there is a need to hire persons with certain qualifications and traits. Some examples are requirements that engine drivers must not be color blind, could be legal. The general criteria are that without falling to the exceptions selective employment can be given to suit the nature of work.
Johnson Controls, Inc. (886 F.2d 871 (7th Cir. 1989). The Supreme Court heard this case because they were concerned with an employer's gender-based fetal-protection policy. The question was whether an employer could exclude a fertile female employee from certain jobs because of its concern for the health of the fetus the woman might conceive. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court struck down the employer's fetal protection policy as violation
It was after a lot of concern expressed in this matter and after a long legal and judicial consideration that the legislature passed the act. Legal Enforcement The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the authority that enforces the legislation on age discrimination namely the 'Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 - ADEA'. This act is designed to protect individuals who are about forty or above years of age the
This decision overturned the previous decision in Atkins v. Children's Hospital which held that a state maximum hour law was an unconstitutional infringement on the right of freedom of contract and hence a violation of the Due Process Clause. The justification of the Court's reversal was based upon the declaration that a public interest was vested in ensuring an adequate level of wages for working individuals; 2) Jones and Laughlin
Racial Discrimination in the Workplace Until fairly recent times, blacks and other minority groups were denied almost all economic and educational opportunities, including government programs that distributed homestead lands, oil, gas and mineral rights, television and radio licenses, federally-guaranteed mortgages and business loans and airline routes (Feagin 3). Before the 1960s, most blacks and Hispanics held only menial, low-paying jobs and were denied ownership of land and business or access to