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Office of Human Resources

Equal Opportunity & Compliance

EOC Glossary

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Black or African American (Federal Race/Ethnicity Code)
  All persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
Bona-Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ)
  A defense allowing an employer to limit a particular job to members of one sex, religion, or national origin group. The courts have held that the statutory BFOQ provision in Title VII is a very narrow exception to the general prohibition against discrimination on the basis of those characteristics. In enforcing the Executive Order, OFCCP follows Title VII principles regarding the BFOQ exception. An employer claiming that sex is a BFOQ for a job must show that all or substantially all members of the excluded sex are incapable of performing the duties of the job and that failure to allow the exclusion would undermine the "essence" (i.e., the central purpose or mission) of the employer's business. Race cannot ever be a BFOQ for any job.
Business Necessity
  A defense available when the employer has a criterion for selection that is facially neutral but which excludes members of one sex, race, national origin or religious group at a substantially higher rate than members of other groups (thus creating adverse impact) do. The employer must prove that its requirement having the adverse impact is job-related and consistent with business necessity.