bona fide occupational qualification

bona fide occupational qualification
bona fide occupational qualification n: a requirement (as relating to sex, religion, national origin, or age) for a particular job that does not violate the constitutional bans on discrimination see also civil rights act of 1964 and age discrimination in employment act in the important laws section equal employment opportunity commission in the important agencies section amendment xiv to the constitution in the back matter compare disparate impact, disparate treatment

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

bona fide occupational qualification
A qualification that is truly necessary for performing a job, used to judge matters of employment discrimination.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

bona fide occupational qualification
An employer's job requirement that discriminates against a protected class but is not considered illegal because it is reasonably necessary to the operation of a business.
Category: Employment Law & HR

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

bona fide occupational qualification
bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ)
A limited exception to the prohibitions against employment discrimination on the basis of sex, religion or national origin under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e (Title VII) and on the basis of age under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-34 (ADEA).
The BFOQ exception applies where an employer can prove that an employment preference based on one of these protected class characteristics is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of its particular business or enterprise. For example, a women's clothing store may legitimately hire female rather than male models. The BFOQ exception is disfavored and construed narrowly. Employers attempting to use the BFOQ exception as a legal defense must be prepared to explain why its bias on the basis of sex, religion, national origin or age is truly necessary to the position in the context of the business or enterprise.
For more information see Practice Note, Recruiting and Interviewing: Minimizing Legal Risk: Bona Fide Occupational Qualification Exception (

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

bona fide occupational qualification
n. Employment practices that would constitute discrimination as to certain individuals of a particular religion, gender, national origin, or age range (but not race or color) when the otherwise illegal discrimination is a bona fide qualification that is reasonably necessary for the normal performance of the duties of that particular occupation. For example, a designer of women's clothes by necessity is permitted to hire only female models to show off new designs. Such practices are not illegal under federal law. In addition, religious organizations and schools are allowed to hire only members of that religion even if religion is not a bona fide occupational qualification for that position (such as the requirement that all teachers in a parochial school be Catholic, even though they teach subjects that do not require Catholic background). Abbr. BFOQ.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Civil Rights Act of 1964 — Full title An act to enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States of America to provide relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to …   Wikipedia

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