• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Can a company ask for your photo before you are hired?

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.

Patty Connor

New member
I reside in California. The company hires independent contractors as driver companions for senior citizen. We drive passengers to their appointments and wait for them. During the online hiring process I was asked basic questions about my employment status then was asked to upload pictures of my car and a photo of myself. It was stated the photo is for my company badge, but I'm not hired yet. I know that laws exist that prevent employers from asking for a photograph along with your application. Does those laws apply to independent contractors?
 


quincy

Senior Member
I reside in California. The company hires independent contractors as driver companions for senior citizen. We drive passengers to their appointments and wait for them. During the online hiring process I was asked basic questions about my employment status then was asked to upload pictures of my car and a photo of myself. It was stated the photo is for my company badge, but I'm not hired yet. I know that laws exist that prevent employers from asking for a photograph along with your application. Does those laws apply to independent contractors?
Following is a link to a FreeAdvice staff-written article on some of what can and cannot be asked of an applicant by an employer. Asking for a photo would violate California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing laws.


You could fill out the application without the photos.
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
Does those laws apply to independent contractors?
I don't think so. As an independent contractor you are a self-employed person in the business of providing services to customers for a fee. The relationship is not protected like that of employee.

Example: I hire a plumber and ask to take a picture of him or of his driver's license (his photo is on it) for my records. He refuses. Well, it's down the road he goes.
 

quincy

Senior Member
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) does not apply to independent contractors (as independent contractor is defined in the California Labor Code). I somehow missed the question you asked in your post. I responded to your title question.

Here is a link to the California Labor Code's definition of independent contractor:
.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
Asking for a photo would violate California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing laws.
Where are you getting that from?

Under federal law there is no explicit provision barring an employer from asking for a photo with a job application. However, an employer who does that runs a risk of EEOC charges or liability in a lawsuit if it can be shown that the practice of asking for photos results in discrimination based on a protected characteristic (race, sex, age, national origin, etc). As a result, many employment law attorneys will tell clients that the best practice is not to ask for the photos unless they can show some true business need for them. So far as I know California law in that regard is similar; that is, there isn't an explicit prohibition against asking for photos, but doing so does run a greater risk of being found in violation of equal employment laws.
 

quincy

Senior Member
You're welcome, Patty. We all appreciate the thanks, so thank you.

Here is one more link, to the EEOC on prohibited practices, to go along with California's FEHA law:

Good luck in your new job.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Quincy's link doesn't work.
It did for me - although, it's not a link to the specific section, just the over set of laws.

EDIT: It's not working now. The state's web site has a history (for me) of intermittent connectivity.
 

quincy

Senior Member
But, the question still remains. How does the request/requirement for a pre-hire photo, in and of itself, violate the law?
The links are all working for me.

Photos tell an employer the applicant's gender, race, age, ethnicity .. all factors that (generally) cannot be asked for in an application when judging an applicant's qualifications.
 

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
I'm going to split a hair here. I absolutely agree that asking for a photo pre-hire puts the employer at great risk for being found in violation of discrimination laws. I have, at other times and on other forums, emphatically discouraged employers from asking for photos for exactly that reason.

However, I cannot find where asking for the photo in and of itself violates anything. It would be up to the employer to prove that they did not violate the law; that is a given. But the ASKING is not a violation that I can find - it is the potential use of the photo that is.
 

quincy

Senior Member
I'm going to split a hair here. I absolutely agree that asking for a photo pre-hire puts the employer at great risk for being found in violation of discrimination laws. I have, at other times and on other forums, emphatically discouraged employers from asking for photos for exactly that reason.

However, I cannot find where asking for the photo in and of itself violates anything. It would be up to the employer to prove that they did not violate the law; that is a given. But the ASKING is not a violation that I can find - it is the potential use of the photo that is.
I believe it was point (d) in FEHA? I don't have my notes available and I bookmarked nothing.
 

Sponsored Ad

Top