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AGO 1949 No. 163 - November 18, 1949
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE -- MINORS -- EMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS

The requiring of minor applicant's birth place and submission of birth certificate as proof of age on Department of Labor and Industries form for employment permit is not an unfair employment practice.

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                                                               November 18, 1949

Honorable A. M. Johnson
Director of Labor and Industries
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 163

Dear Sir:

            We have received your request for an opinion on the following question:

            Is the requirement that a minor applicant for an employment permit furnish information as to his place of birth and submit a birth certificate as proof of birth on the Department of Labor and Industries form of a minor's application for Employment Permit an unfair employment practice under chapter 183, Laws of 1949?

            Our conclusion may be summarized as follows:

            Such requirement is not an unfair employment practice.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Section 7, chapter 183, Laws of 1949, which enumerates unfair employment practices under the Law Against Discrimination in Employment, reads as follows:

            "(1) It shall be an unfair employment practice for any employer:

            "(a) To refuse to hire any person because of such person's race, creed, color, or national origin, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "(b) To discharge or bar any person from employment because of such person's race, creed, color, or national origin.

            "(c) To discriminate against any person in compensation or in other terms or conditions of employment because of such person's race, creed, color or national origin.

            "(2) It shall be an unfair employment practice for any labor union or labor organization:

            "(a) To deny full membership rights and privileges to any person because of such person's race, creed, color, or national origin.

            "(b) To expel from membership any person because of such person's race, creed, color or national origin; or

            "(c) To discriminate against any member employer, or employee because of such person's creed, color, or national origin.

            "(3) It shall be an unfair employment practice for any employment agency, except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification or need, to fail or refuse to classify properly or refer for employment, or otherwise to discriminate against, any individual because of his race, color, religious creed, national origin or ancestry.

            "(4) It shall be an unfair employment practice for any employer, employment agency, or labor union to discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against any person because he has opposed any practices forbidden by this act, or because he has filed a charge, testified, or assisted in any proceeding under this act.

            "(5) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for any person to aid, abet, encourage, or  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] incite the commission of any unlawful employment practice, or to attempt to obstruct or prevent any other person from complying with the provisions of this act or any order issued thereunder."

            Requiring information as to an applicant's place of birth and his birth certificate as proof of age is not included within the provisions of § 7.  That such information might be available to implement an offense under the act is not material.  Whether the inclusion of such a requirement on every application for employment would constitute discrimination in itself need not be determined at this time, but it seems clear that where the information is used to protect the applicant and to comply with child-labor regulations, it is not used in a discriminatory manner.

            It is, therefore, our opinion that the request for information as to the applicant's birthplace and submission of his birth certificate to prove his age is not an unfair employment practice under chapter 183, Laws of 1949.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

LAWRENCE K. McDONELL
Assistant Attorney General

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