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Unlawful Inquiries: Religion, Military, Photo, Citizenship, Education, Conviction

Reference Number: MTAS-1560
Reviewed Date: 03/01/2023

Employers may not make inquiries in the following areas:


  • Applicant’s religion (affiliation, church, parish, pastor or religious holidays).
  • Applicants may not be told that any particular religious groups are required to work on their religious holidays.
  • Any inquiry to indicate or identify religious denomination or customs.


  • Current military status.
  • Type or condition of military discharge.
  • Applicants experience in other US armed forces.
  • Request for discharge papers.


  • Request for a photograph before hiring.
  • Requirement that applicant affix a photograph to the application.
  • Request the applicant, at his/her option, submit photograph.
  • Requirement of photograph after interview but before hiring.


  • Are you a citizen of the US?
  • Of what country are you a citizen?
  • Whether applicant or his/her parents or spouse are naturalized or native-born U.S. citizens.
  • Date that applicant or parents or spouse acquired a U.S. citizenship.
  • Requirement that applicant produce his/her naturalization papers.
  • Whether applicant’s parents or spouse are citizens or the U.S.

Ancestry of National Origin

  • Inquiries into applicant’s lineage or ancestry, national origin, descent, birthplace or native language.
  • Asking how applicant acquired the ability to speak, read or write a foreign language.
  • National origin, descent, birthplace or native language of applicant’s parents or spouse.


  • Any inquiry asking specifically the nationality, racial or religious affiliation of a school.
  • Inquiry as to the applicant’s native language or how foreign language ability was acquired.


  • Any inquiry relating to arrests.
  • Asking or checking into a person’s arrest.
  • Court or conviction record if not substantially related to functions and responsibilities of the prospective employment.