Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ)

A bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) is a legally defined exception to equal employment opportunity laws. A BFOQ means employers can hire a person for a particular job based on their sex, religion, or national origin if they can demonstrate it’s essential for performing the role. 

Examples of where a BFOQ might apply are a Catholic school can insist the principal is a member of the Catholic Church or an actor who must be authentic in a role.

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