Article 43


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sneaky Way To Check Job Applicant’s Age

Some of us highly-skilled, over 40, layed-off from AT&T, seasoned professionals of telecom, have been applying for jobs at telephone companies like Sprint for over a year. They have a pending LAWSUIT for AGE DISCRIMINATION for allegedly disproportionately laying off OLDER WORKERS in 2003.  Waiting on their pre-screenings lines for tech jobs with a bunch of Gen-Xers and 20-somethings, led me to often believe I’m the oldest person in the room - and MOST QUALIFIED for the job we’re applying for.  So far - no job offer.

There’s FEDERAL LAWS prohibiting companies from not considering you for a job BASED ON AGE, or even asking about it unless there’s a good reason (like kids needed for a childrens’ TV show.) During the interview process, questions like “How old you?” may be grounds for AGE DISCRIMINATION lawsuits. 

How does a hiring company legally get your age for an interview?  Easy.  Make the person first fill out a job application and/or agree to a background check giving name, social security number, driver’s license number, and birthdate.  A lot of companies like Sprint do that, and the EEOC says it’s perfectly OK. 

So, it’s illegal for a prospective employer to ask me how old I am, but it’s OK to make me write it down.

What kind of stupid law is that?

Here’s what the AARP told me:

We are sorry to hear that you have not received the job placement you applied for.  In general, a prospective employment candidate may be asked for his/her date of birth.  If the prospective employee does not obtain the employment it is his/her burden to prove that he/she was discriminated against based upon age. Thank you for contacting AARP Foundation Litigation.

It seems to me there’s nothing stopping companies from age discrimination.

Nothing at all.

Posted by Elvis on 10/13/05 •
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