Is it legal for a company to ask for my date of birth and passport number on first contact? If not, should I report the company to the EEOC?

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Is it legal for a company to ask for my date of birth and passport number on first contact? If not, should I report the company to the EEOC?

Is it legal for a company to ask for my date of birth and passport number on
first contact? If not, should I report the company to the EEOC?

Asked on May 4, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

*Asking* for this information is legal; however, discriminating due to it--e.g. not hiring you because you are 40 or older, or because of your country of origin--is not legal. (They may refuse to hire you for other reasons--e.g. your qualifications, education, experience, etc.--but not because you are over 40 or becaue of your national origin.) That is why it is very unwise to ask for this information upfront: if a candidate is not hired after providing this information and he/she is over 40 or comes from other than the U.S., there will often be a presumption that the refusal to hire was due to age or national origin. While the company can refute this presumption by providing evidence of some other, valid reason, it may very well put itself on the defensive, in the position of having to refute a presumption of discrimination, by asking these questions initially. It is much wiser--though not legally required--to wait until later in the process to get this information.


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