What is a Business Necessity? Example, Importance, 9 Facts

A business need is to make an employment choice that is both effective and necessary to the organization’s pursuit of its stated goals while also maintaining the security and efficiency of its operations. Continue reading for an article that goes into great depth about the issue.

What is a Business Necessity?

Legally, an employer may use the phrase “business need” to justify discriminatory employment practices that harm a certain group of individuals. An organization may have legitimate reasons for implementing such tight employment criteria, which serves as justification.

What is a Business Necessity?

Understanding Business necessity

Concerns have been raised regarding the concept’s potential abuse by unscrupulous employers who use it as a veil for illegal discrimination.For example, a company may unfairly dismiss immigrants who are unable to communicate effectively in English.

Even if the immigrant had all of the required qualifications for the post, the corporation would still refuse to hire them. An immigrant will not be employed if they do not fit the organization’s preferred aesthetic or work ethic.

If a company requires a security guard but can only recruit someone who is totally capable, it may instantly dismiss any applicants who are only partially capable.

Furthermore, when it comes to hiring qualified employees with criminal histories, the application of business need may result in the biased rejection of applications.

Most employers are hesitant to accept someone with a criminal record, no matter how far they have come in their rehabilitation. When a comprehensive background check shows the presence of the record, such an applicant may be barred from further consideration for employment.

This is not only unfair, but also may make it difficult for ex-offenders to get respectable employment, leading some to return to criminal behavior.

The claim of business necessity

The need for business may also be used to justify preferring one gender over another in the workplace.

What is a Business Necessity?

Due to cultural traditions, a casino or other entertainment-related firm may only wish to hire men for particular jobs. It’s probable that they exclusively recruit attractive women for customer-facing jobs like hostessing and dealing blackjack.

Women who do not meet their beauty standards, as well as males who may feel excluded as a result, may submit a discrimination lawsuit.

What Are Examples of a Business Necessity?

Procedures formed of necessity in the commercial sector are now commonplace. In some situations, the following forms of employment arrangements may be justified by business needs:

  • Educational requirements. A certain degree of education is frequently specified as a requirement for applying for a specific employment. Many people, for example, are unable to apply for doctor or physician positions since postgraduate medical education is required.
  • Experiential requirements. Employers frequently seek applicants with relevant job experience. This ensures that people who apply have the necessary abilities for the employment that may be available to them. However, a large number of optimistic applicants’ chances will be harmed as a result of this.
  • Travel requirements. Some occupations involve substantial travel on a regular basis throughout the year. Then they may look for someone in good enough shape to take on the trip duties. As a result, the ineligibility of some applications may grow or decrease.

What Does “Job-Related and Consistent With Business Necessity” Mean?

Companies will claim that their unusual recruiting practices are “job-related and congruent with business objectives.” Simply expressed, it means that the firm has produced persuasive proof that its recruitment requirements are critical to the enterprise’s existence.

How Do You Prove Business Necessity?

To show the policy’s need, companies must present persuasive evidence that the exclusion criteria are logically related to job performance and do not have an unreasonably discriminating effect. The commercial need test is derived from the Supreme Court decision Griggs v. Duke Power Co.

Since then, numerous crucial factors for determining whether or not a company’s recruiting and hiring practices are legal have emerged. Employers must show the following from these considerations:

  • The employment rules cause only minor prejudice.
  • Applicants who satisfy the job criteria have a better chance of succeeding.
  • The employment standards are established by an independent third party who is unaffiliated with either the employee or the company.
  • The effort has a direct impact on the community’s well-being.
  • The capacity of a candidate to change or alter their natural attributes is not considered in the recruiting process.
  • There are no other recruiting rules that are less discriminating to potential employees.

What is a Business Necessity?

How Can You Prevent Discrimination With Business Necessity?

It is unlawful and unethical to consider age, gender, race, or disability as employment criterion. This type of prejudice causes potential employers to make incorrect judgements about applicants based on their fixed characteristics.

Obviously, very few businesses will deliberately use “commercial need” as a justification for discrimination.

To the best of their abilities, human resources specialists should be able to answer the following questions and offer evidence that their company’s employment practices are not biased. discriminatory.

For the benefit of all parties concerned, the company’s employment practices, including any policies and procedures in place to prevent discrimination, should be documented.

What’s the Difference Between Bona Fide Occupational Qualification and Business Necessity?

If an applicant does not fulfill a “bona fide occupational qualification,” an employer may discriminate against them based on their race, gender, age, or nationality (BFOQ). A restaurant may specify in its job posting that candidates must be at least 18 years old in order to lawfully serve alcohol.

A BFOQ, like the idea of business needs, allows organizations to broaden their candidate pool by allowing them to hire on the basis of traits that are not protected by law.

What Does “Job-Related And Consistent With Business Necessity” Mean?


Any employment standard, test, or criterion that has the effect of excluding persons with disabilities or groups of people with disabilities due to their disability must be a real measure or qualification for the position being filled. It is not enough that it assesses general capacity to do a certain sort of task…

However, the ADA does not require that a selection or qualifying criterion be confined to the “essential responsibilities” of the post being filled. Companies may continue to pick and hire individuals based on their demonstrated ability to satisfy all “job-related” requirements or selection criteria.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to evaluate an applicant’s qualifications solely on his or her ability to perform essential job functions, with or without an accommodation, and only when the applicant’s disability prevents or impedes performance of marginal job functions.

Business Necessity

A test or other selection criterion is not in line with business needs if it results in the exclusion of a disabled individual owing to the impairment and is unrelated to the essential functions of the job.

What is a Business Necessity?

A standard may be work-related without being justified by business necessity unless it corresponds to a significant component of an employee’s job.

Even if a qualification standard or selection criterion is job-related and consistent with business necessity, it may not be used to exclude a disabled person if that person could satisfy the legitimate standard or selection criterion with a reasonable accommodation, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Let’s break down the data into smaller parts and discuss what they all mean using these guidelines.

Now that we have some direction, let’s break down the data into bite-sized chunks and discuss what it all means.

To be Job-Related, it must be a Legitimate Measure or Qualification for the Specific Job

At first glance, this may look straightforward. The selection criteria, or qualification standards, should be indicative of the real job activities.

Nonetheless, for a variety of reasons, firms will occasionally use selection criteria that apply to many positions, saying that these attributes are required for all of the roles for which they are employing.

The criteria used to determine whether an individual is qualified for a post must be based on the position’s specific needs, making this a potentially dangerous method.

It’s likely that employing such broad standards overlooks the reality that seemingly identical professions may have radically differing duties.

It is advisable to review each position separately and apply just the criteria that are truly necessary for that function rather than imposing requirements based on classes of similar roles.

Job-Related Selection Criteria Can Apply to all Job Functions

Employers look for individuals who are completely capable of performing the responsibilities of the position they are attempting to fill. This category includes anything to do with work, whether it be core or peripheral.

However, an employer must only consider an applicant’s ability to do the job’s essential tasks if the applicant’s disability-related requirements preclude them from performing the marginal activities.

If a disabled candidate can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation, they qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even if a person is qualified for adjustments, their ability to do all aspects of their job may be evaluated.

If it is not Related to Performing an Essential Job Function, then it may not be Consistent with Business Necessity

We’ve discussed what defines a job-related requirement and when it’s required for employment. However, anything may be important to the task but not in accordance with the company’s criteria.

To be in accordance with legitimate business demands, a condition for employment must be relevant to the fundamental functions of the position. As a result, if a person with a disability is to be refused work solely on the basis of that standard, the qualifying condition for employment must be clearly related to the necessary activities of the position in issue.

What is a Business Necessity?

If the criterion is linked to the individual’s ability to fulfill a marginal function of that position, the employment criteria is not in accordance with business requirement.

An individual is considered qualified for a job under the ADA if they can do the fundamental responsibilities of the job with or without reasonable accommodation, therefore keep this in mind whenever it comes to the ability to perform the job’s essential functions.

Because of this, the organization needs to take into account any modifications that would help the applicant meet the relevant standards.


A requirement put on an employee must have an indirect effect on the individual’s capacity to accomplish their work, according to the rule of business necessity. The goal is to prevent employers from using subjective criteria to screen out qualified candidates.

Companies cannot legally discriminate against job applicants based on their personal traits, but they can use the excuse of “business need” to avoid legal repercussions if they reject qualified individuals.

An example is a company based in the US with a lot of Chinese customers looking for a receptionist. The company may disqualify many qualified applicants based on the fact that they do not speak the Chinese language. In this case, business necessity becomes a legitimate defense for its actions.

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Pat Moriarty
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