The EEOC has long advised that asking about date of birth on job applications was a particularly bad idea.
The ADEA does not explicitly prohibit an employer from asking an applicant’s age or date of birth. However, such inquiries may deter older workers from applying for employment or may otherwise indicate possible intent to discriminate based on age, contrary to the purposes of the ADEA. If the information is needed for a lawful purpose, it can be obtained after the employee is hired.
That’s why most employers don’t ask about that or asking about high school graduation dates too, since both of those questions could be said to make it easier for employers to discriminate against older applicants.
Now, legislators claim to have reached consensus to pass a bill in Connecticut explicitly prohibiting it. As first reported by CT Mirror, the legislation would be similar to a bill that was introduced in 2019.
Last year’s bill followed “ban the box” requirements that prohibited asking about criminal history on an initial application. Instead, the bill would have made it a discriminatory practice “except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification or need, to request or require a prospective employee’s age, date of birth or date of graduation from an educational institution on an initial employment application.”
Without opposition from the CBIA, it appears that a bill this year now stands a chance of passing.
Because the new session hasn’t yet begun, we’ll see how this plays out but employers that still ask about birth dates on job applications should probably eliminate that anyways.