Age discrimination has long been an issue in the workspace. It’s prevalent everywhere, from the hiring process to internal promotions. While both old and young can be discriminated against, statistics show that aging individuals are disproportionately discriminated against.
According to an American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) survey, 2 out of 3 workers 45 years of age and older experience age discrimination in some form. Age discrimination during the hiring process can manifest itself in numerous ways. Here are three ways to identify discrimination against older job applicants.
Companies meticulously word job postings to help ensure that only the most qualified candidates apply for the position. After all, no one wants to waste time sifting through resumes from high school graduates for a senior level position. However, certain verbiage can hint at the fact that a particular company is in search of younger applicants, which is inherently illegal.
The Orlando-based restaurant chain Seasons 52 reportedly told applicants who were denied positions that they didn’t want anyone “too experienced” and were instead looking for “fresh” employees. Those statements resulted in the chain being ordered to pay a $2.85 million settlement in a class-action age discrimination lawsuit.
Interviewers can also incriminate themselves by asking your age, the year you graduated from college, or making intrusive comments regarding how long you plan to continue working before retirement.
So you apply for a position and you’re clearly one of the most qualified, if not the most qualified, applicant. The job posting requires a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and you possess a Doctorate’s. However, the individual who was hired over you had a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing.
By being able to prove that the individual’s age was the only reason why the underqualified applicant was selected for the position, you then have a prima facie case for age discrimination. The employer would then have the burden of proof to present evidence that justifies the otherwise unjust hiring of a younger applicant solely because of their age.
While the purpose of a job posting is to attract applicants who are the best fit for the company and the position, it should only contain requirements that are relevant to performing the job. For example, you’re applying to be a paralegal at a law firm but the position requires you to have perfect vision without glasses and be able to lift 60+ lbs. If you’re asking “What does either have to do with being a paralegal?” the answer is “nothing.”
Companies will often place irrelevant requirements like these in their postings knowing that those who fit the criteria will likely be younger people even though they have little to nothing to do with actual work duties.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that prohibits employers from using one’s age as a determining factor for whether they’re hired. All individuals over 40-years-old have the right to file a lawsuit for age discrimination. Improve your chances of having a successful case by acquiring the legal counsel of a seasoned age discrimination lawyer.
Attorney Nathan Davidovich of Davidovich Law Firm possesses more than 55 years of experience protecting those facing labor-related issues and is also an active member of the National Employment Lawyers Association. Allow him to use his extensive experience helping people like you to settle your age discrimination case on the most favorable terms. Contact us today at (303) 825-5529 to discuss the extent of your legal options.