The obvious answer is yes ‡ I could decline to hire you because you farted during your interview. David’s reference to protected classes refers to Equal Opportunity Employment, so we’ll just assume the reason to decline is not for one of those reasons.In the construction industry, we have a lot of turnover. We need people with basic skills, sometimes, those skills are only “has a valid driver’s license.”What if a person has tattoos on his or her neck?This is a pretty good example. There’s nothing wrong with that if the person is applying for some back-office position where customers don’t see. However, construction laborers are often sent out to people’s homes ‡ customers‡ homes. They may be there, they may not be there.Little old ladies tend to get scared when big men with neck tattoos are hanging around their home and properties. ‡ I didn’t make that rule. It’s just something that we’ve noticed. And, I don’t have the time or utility in the process to see if I can work neck tattoo guy (NTG) at a job that wouldn’t matter.I may need to send NTG, at any moment, to go help at the job with little old lady (LOL), and I’m not going to ask my customer if he or she is fine with people working around them with neck tattoos.That’s odd. It’s atypical. ‡ It would not be normal business practice to ask that.So, we might have a policy that says ‡ sorry. “We’d consider your employment, but because of your past actions viz. tattooing your neck ‡ we cannot consider your application. And, I wish you the best of luck.”Now, what if we then hired someone else who was more qualified and had neck tattoos? Would that be wrong? Is that unfair treatment?Again, having neck tattoos is not a protected class. So, that’d be fine also under the law.—I’ve been at a company where a homeless person, found under a bridge, was hired to give him a chance.If the employer wants to give a person a chance, then he or she can. If you smell like crap when you come to your interview, or come to pick up an application, then that could be immediately disqualifying.These are decisions normal ‡ and okay ‡ for employers to make. Accommodations may be made for you, and may have to be made for you, if you have certain conditions.—I think of a very overweight man who stank so bad due to his inability to clean himself ‡ he was applying to be a renter at a commercial property ‡ not for a job ‡ that it was discussed whether we’d allow him to rent aka pay money aka bring in income for the company ‡ because the way he smelled might be bad.These are tough choices. If they’re not tough choices, then perhaps you’re less human or less ethical than you could be in business.However, if what you’re doing is not against the law, then it’s your decision, just like it’s the applicant's decision to apply for work or to be a lessee.—Your question is phrased a bit differently, though. It’s not so much about the decision to hire, rather, it’s the decision to accept an application.I would give anyone an application to fill out and bring back, unless that person was obviously intoxicated, obviously rude, or obviously anything obviously disqualifying from the start. ‡ How do you know if someone is intoxicated?Well, you can get training to be the Designated Employer Representative (DER). You can get training to help you to figure out the signs that are articulable, observable, and contemporaneous(-ly recorded) to allow you to rule out people at the point of getting an application, but I still don’t know if you’d do that. It’d probably be better to get the drunk or drugged up person out of the office by giving him or her an application.Do you have to give him or her a pen or pencil to fill out the application on your property?! ‡ No!How many times do you think I’ve told someone ‡ “I’ll pay to print you off an application, but that doesn’t mean I have to pay for your ink to fill it out?”—It’s usually a good idea to give all people seeking an application an application to fill out. You don’t have to allow that person a place, in your property or in your office, in which to fill it out. You don’t have to read the application when it’s turned back in.I’ve had people tell me, “Well I don’t have infinite gas money. I need to fill it out here!” ‡ To which I replied: “We don’t prgas money for your application and interview process.”Tough love. ‡ There are other ways to get people not to come back than just to say, “We don’t like your appearance so please don’t come back.”That’s not necessarily illegal. In general, it’s not illegal.However, if I told a person, “I’m sorry, I’d love to consider you but you’re a black woman” ‡ umm. ‡ If I ever did that, I would encourage the individual to sue me and my company, because I would be doing something wrong.—I also don’t ask customers if it’s okay if I send African-Americans or women, or white people, or pick a class ‡ to their jobs. If I were to get a request for an all-anything group of workers, then I would cancel the contract.And, being in rural East Texas ‡ I will tell you the truth. I have gotten those requests, and I have never honored one of them.The customer either changed his or her mind, or I canceled the job. ‡ That’s a more sophisticated form of your question to answer.I don’t have to take work either. I don’t have hire people I don’t like. I don’t have to work for people I don’t like. ‡ Asking me to act like that would lead, if not immediately nearly immediately, to my cancellation of the job ‡ for cause.