While normally employers want to prohibit hiring or firing based on protected characteristics, in this narrow circumstance, it makes sense to allow employers to effectively discriminate against otherwise qualified individuals. The law allows for these sorts of employment considerations through what is known as a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception.

In order to use the BFOQ exception, an employer must prove that no member of the group you are discriminating against could perform the job. Courts are very careful to only allow very narrow exceptions to the general prohibition of discrimination against a protected status, and in the case of race, there is no exception in case law. The most common exceptions are generally crafted for religion and gender.

*Note: CareerPlug does not offer legal advice and you should always consult with your legal counsel to ensure your hiring practices are in compliance with federal, state, and local laws.