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Unlawful Inquiries: Sex, Race, Residence, Birthplace

Reference Number: MTAS-1558
Reviewed Date: 03/01/2023

Employers may not make inquiries in the following areas:

Gender (the state of being male or female)

  • Gender of the applicant.
  • Any other inquiry that would indicate gender.
  • Name or relationship of persons with whom applicant resides.
  • Gender cannot be used as a factor to determine whether or not an applicant will be satisfied in a particular job.

Gender is not a bona fide occupational qualification even if a job involves physical labor (such as lifting) beyond the capacity of some women. Employment cannot be restricted to a particular gender just because the job is traditionally labeled “men’s work” or “women’s work.”

Applicant's Race

  • Color of applicant’s skin, eyes, hair, etc., or other questions directly or indirectly indicating race or color.
  • Applicant’s height or weight where it is not relative to the job.


  • Specific inquiry into foreign addresses that would indicate national origin.
  • Names or relationship of persons with whom applicant resides.
  • Whether applicant owns or rents home.
  • Whether applicant has an automobile.


  • Birthplace of applicant.
  • Birthplace of applicant’s parents, spouse or other relatives.
  • Requirement that applicant submit a birth certificate, naturalization or baptismal record before employment.
  • Any other inquiry into national origin.