On June 24, 2021, Connecticut Governor Lamont signed into law An Act Deterring Discrimination in Employment Applications (the Act), which amends Connecticut’s Fair Employment Practices Act to include a ban on employers inquiring into the ages of prospective employees on any initial application for employment. The new law is effective October 1, 2021.
What Does the Act Prohibit?
The Act amends the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act by adding an additional section to the law prohibiting employers (and third-parties acting on their behalf) from requesting or requiring on an initial employment application a prospective employee’s:
- date of birth;
- dates of attendance at, or date of graduation from, an educational institution.
Are there Exceptions?
Employers may request or require the information listed above if that information is based on a bona fide occupational qualification or need, or if the employer needs the information to comply with applicable state or federal laws. However, employers are encouraged to discuss the specific facts and circumstances with their legal counsel if they intend to invoke this exception and to request age-identifying information from an applicant. Notably, the Act’s prohibition is limited to an initial employment application, which means that it may be permissible for an employer to later request this information for bona fide and non-discriminatory business reasons (such as to conduct a background investigation).
Given the new prohibition, Connecticut employers should:
- Review existing job application forms and processes to ensure that they do not request or require job applicants to provide age-identifying information and confirm that no other documents require this information as part of the initial employment application;
- Ensure that employees engaged in the hiring process are educated about the new inquiry limitations.
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