Can you ask for date of birth on a job application?

Can you ask for date of birth on a job application? 2560 2147 Balance Point Team

BPHR’s Director Lisa Salcido, SPHR, SHRM-SCP provides answers to your pressing HR questions.

Question: Is it legal to ask for date of birth on a job application?

To promote fair hiring practices many states prohibit employers from asking for certain information on an employment application. Criminal records, salary history, and age-related inquires can lead to discrimination during the hiring process. Laws offering protection against bias require employers to evaluate their job applications to avoid eliciting information about a protected class.

State governments are increasingly adopting laws to prevent ageism in the workplace. On October 5, 2021, Governor Murphy signed into law an expansion of New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination so workers 70 and older cannot be forced out of a job solely because of their age. “As in many places around the country, New Jersey’s workforce is aging, and we need to be proactive in protecting those older workers against age discrimination,” said Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, a prime sponsor of the bill.

In Connecticut, Governor Lamont signed An Act Deterring Age Discrimination in Employment Applications. The new law bans Connecticut employers from inquiring into the age of job seekers on an initial employment application. Job applications may not request age, date of birth, or dates of attendance or graduation from an educational institution. Employers may only require an applicant’s age to comply with a state or federal law or for a justifiable occupational need e.g., verifying the minimum age to serve alcohol. The Act went into effect on October 1, 2021, for employers with three or more employees.

Regulations affecting employment applications are frequently changing. Employers should:

  • Review state law and remove prohibited questions from job applications.
  • Ask “Are you at least 18 years old?” as a legal alternative.
  • Use a separate background check authorization form if date of birth is required to facilitate a background check.

Satisfy Compliance, Focus on Strategy with BPHR

With BPHR, an HR Generalist will help you navigate employment law ensuring your compliance so you can focus on more strategic tasks. Schedule your free phone consultation today to learn how your organization can benefit from our services.

DISCLAIMER: The material presented on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion. 

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