Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ)

1. Concept

Employment in particular jobs may not be limited to persons of a particular sex, religion, or national origin unless the employer can show that sex, religion, or national origin is an actual qualification for performing the job. The qualification is called a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). (Yrasuegi v. Philippine Airlines, Inc., G.R. No. 168081, 17 October 2008)

a. Legal basis

[T]he Constitution, the Labor Code, and RA No. 727761 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons contain provisions similar to BFOQ. (Ibid.)

b. Not a statutory defense

[T]here is no merit to the argument that BFOQ cannot be applied if it has no supporting statute. (Ibid.)

2. Tests

a. Meiorin Test

[I]n British Columbia Public Service Employee Commission (BSPSERC) v. The British Columbia Government and Service Employee’s Union (BCGSEU), the Supreme Court of Canada adopted the so-called “Meiorin Test” in determining whether an employment policy is justified. Under this test:

1) The employer must show that it adopted the standard for a purpose rationally connected to the performance of the job;

2) The employer must establish that the standard is reasonably necessary to the accomplishment of that work-related purpose; and

3) The employer must establish that the standard is reasonably necessary in order to accomplish the legitimate work-related purpose. (Ibid.)

b. Reasonableness Test

[I]n Star Paper Corporation v. Simbol, this Court held that in ord...


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