Connecticut employers should make sure to review their employment application forms before Oct. 1, 2021, or they could inadvertently run afoul of the state's newly amended age discrimination statutes.
Pursuant to legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Ned Lamont, employers can no longer require an applicant to provide their age, date of birth, or dates of attendance or graduation from an educational institution on an initial employment application.
While most employers have long since stopped asking about dates of birth or age on applications, some do ask about the dates of attendance at high school, college, or graduate school.
The goal of the legislation is to deter discriminatory hiring practices that may harm older workers.
CBIA worked with supporters of the bill in prior legislative sessions to help narrow the legislation and omit several more onerous proposed requirements on employers.
The new law does provide exceptions where age is a bona fide occupational qualification or need, or when such information is needed to comply with any provision of state or federal law.
The exceptions allow a restaurant, for example, to ensure the person they are hiring for their wait staff is at least 18 years old and legally old enough to serve alcohol to patrons.
Further, employers are allowed to continue to ask on initial employment applications whether an applicant is at least 18 years old.
Dates of attendance at education institutions can be discussed at any time after the employment application has been submitted, including during an interview.
Employers that fail to correct their employment applications could be subject to a discrimination complaint at the state’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.