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Preemployment Inquiry Guidelines

Table of fair and unfair questions for use in preemployment inquiries
SUBJECT FAIR PREEMPLOYMENT INQUIRIES UNFAIR PREEMPLOYMENT INQUIRIES
Age Inquiries as to birth date and proof of true age are permitted. Any inquiry which implies a preference for persons under 40 years of age.
Arrests
(see also "Convictions")
None. All inquiries relating to arrests.
Convictions
(see also "Arrests")
Inquiries concerning felony convictions which relate to fitness to perform the specific job. Inquiries concerning misdemeanor convictions within the last 10 years which relate to fitness to perform the specific job. The 10 year limit is calculated from either the date of conviction or release from prison, whichever is later. Inquiries which would divulge convictions which do not relate reasonably to fitness to perform the particular job.
Disabilities, Individuals with You may ask how an applicant would perform any or all job functions, as long as all applicants in the job category are asked this.

If an applicant's disability is apparent or is disclosed by the applicant, you may ask that particular applicant to describe how they would perform job functions.

Over general inquiries (e.g., "Do you have any disabilities?") which would tend to divulge disabilities or health conditions which do not relate reasonably to fitness to perform the job.
Family Whether applicant can meet specified work schedules or has activities, commitments, or responsibilities that may prevent him or her from meeting work attendance requirements. Specific inquiries concerning spouse, spouse's employment or salary, children, child care arrangements, or dependents.

Height and Weight Inquiries as to ability to perform actual job requirements. Being of a certain height or weight will not be considered to be a job requirement unless the employer can show that no employee with the ineligible height or weight could do the work. Any inquiry which is not based on actual job requirements.
Marital Status (see also "Name" and "Family") None. ( ) Mr. ( ) Mrs. ( ) Miss ( ) Ms.Whether the applicant is married, single, divorced, separated, engaged, widowed, etc.
Name Whether applicant has worked for the USGS or Federal Government under a different name and, if so, what name. Name under which applicant is known to references if different from present name. Inquiry into original name where it has been changed by court order or marriage. Inquiries about a name which would divulge marital status, lineage, ancestry, national origin, or descent.
National Origin Inquiries into applicant's ability to read, write, and speak foreign languages, when such inquiries are based on job requirements. Inquiries into applicant's lineage, ancestry, national origin, descent, birthplace, or mother tongue. National origin of applicant's parents or spouse.
Organizations Inquiry into organization memberships, excluding any organization the name or character of which indicates the race, color, creed, sex, marital status, religion, or national origin or ancestry of its members. Requirement that applicant list all organizations, clubs, societies, and lodges to which he or she belongs.
Photographs May be requested after hiring for identification purposes. Request that applicant submit a photograph, mandatorily or optionally, at any time before hiring.
Pregnancy Inquiries as to duration of stay on job or anticipated absences which are made to males and females alike. All questions as to pregnancy, and medical history concerning pregnancy and related matters.
Race or color None. Any inquiry concerning race or color of skin, hair, eyes, etc.
Relatives Names of applicant's relatives already employed by the Federal Government. Names and addresses of any relative other than those listed as proper.
Religion or creed None. Inquiries concerning applicant's religious denomination, religious affiliations, church, parish, pastor, or religious holidays observed.
Residence Inquires about address to the extent needed to facilitate contacting the applicant. Names or relationship of persons with whom applicant resides. Whether applicant owns or rents own home.
Sex None. Any inquiry.




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Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 12-Dec-2012 16:09:44 EST