Major Laws and Regulations that Affect the Selection Process

The following is a list of the major laws and regulations that affect the selection process. Before you proceed with recruiting, be sure you are familiar with these regulations:

Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Equal Pay Act
Federal Executive Order #11246
Illinois Human Rights Act
Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)
Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act


Age Discrimination in Employment Act

  • Prohibits discrimination against persons 40 years of age and over.
  • Promotes the hiring, promotion, and other terms and conditions of employment of older people.
  • Requires hiring decisions based on abilities rather than age.

May Ask:
Are you at least 18 years of age?

May Not Ask: What is your date of birth?
How old are you?
What are the ages of your children?
When did you attend high school?
When did you graduate from high school?

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

  • Requires facilities to be accessible to the disabled.
  • Prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability.
  • Prohibits pre-employment medical inquiries and examinations.
  • Prohibits an organization from excluding a qualified person if he or she can perform the "essential functions" of the job either unaided or with "reasonable accommodation."

May Ask:
Are you capable of performing the position's essential job functions with or without accommodation?
Can you meet the attendance requirements of this job?

May Not Ask:
Do you have a disability?
Do you have any previous major medical problems?
Have you ever received worker's compensation?
How many days were you sick last year?
What prescription drugs are you currently taking?
Have you ever been treated for alcoholism or mental health problems?

Equal Pay Act

Prohibits discrimination based on sex in the payment of wages or benefits when men and women perform work requiring similar skills, effort, and responsibility for the same employer under similar working conditions.

Federal Executive Order #11246

Requires federal contractors to engage in affirmative action to address underrepresentation in the work force based on race, ethnicity, or gender.

Illinois Human Rights Act

Provides for freedom from discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental handicap, military status, or unfavorable military discharge, in connection with employment.

Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)

  • Prevents employment of illegal aliens.
  • Requires employers to ensure applicants are legally employable in the United States.
  • Requires employees to complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form).
  • Employers often violate the act by asking for identification only from people of color; or applicants with obvious cultural, language, speech, or accent differences.

May Ask:
Are you legally employable in the United States?
Are you able to speak/write English fluently?
What languages other than English do you speak?

May Not Ask:
What kind of last name is Smith?
Where were you born? Were your parents born there?
What is your lineage or national origin?
What is your spouse's nationality?
Are you a citizen of a country other than the United States?
What is your native tongue? How well do you speak English?
What is your maiden name?

Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978

  • Prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy.
  • Women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same as non-pregnant employees for all employment-related purposes, including fringe benefits.

May Not Ask:
When do you plan to have children?
How many children do you have?
What are the ages of your children?
What is your maiden name?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

Prohibits discrimination in hiring, compensation, and terms, conditions, or priveleges of employment based on race, religion, color, sex, or national origin.

May Ask:
You may ask applicants to volunteer racial information -- when it is not seen by the individual or office involved in the hiring decision.
What professional organizations do you belong to?
Are you available to work weekends? (If job related).
Have you used any other name(s) on employment or education records?
For purposes of checking your work record and credentials, have you ever changed your name or assumed another name?

May Not Ask:
You may not ask applicants to supply a photo in the application process.
What race are you?
Tell me all the clubs you belong to.
What place of worship do you attend?
Do you wish to be addressed as Mrs., Miss, or MS.?
What is your spouse's name?
Where is your spouse employed?