A defense to acknowledged discrimination, usually based on the existence of a facially discriminatory policy, such as "individuals over the age of 50 shall not be hired as police officers."
Title VII permits you to discriminate on the basis of "religion, sex, or national origin in those instances where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business or enterprise." This narrow exception has also been extended to discrimination based on age through the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). This exception does not apply to discrimination based on race.
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Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
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.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:11 pm