Age Discrimination–New Ways to Dishonor our senior job applicants?
You’ve probably filled out “drop down” job applications on line. Those are the ones that require you to complete ALL required fields under penalty of not being able to submit your application at all. A client in her late 60s recently sent us a screen shot of an employment application for a retail employer right here in Los Angeles which only “scrolled down” to 1985 as the earliest “date of birth” line to follow. As our client was born in the decade of the 40s, it was clear she could not even submit the application. Or wha about the application that said “digital natives” are preferred? Is that code talk for applicants under 40? A recent CPA applicant to Price-Waterhouse found that entry level positions were posted and accessible only on web pages available to college students. Many applicants are asked “Would you be able to work for a younger manager?”
Age discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have risen from approximately 12,0-00 annually in 1997 to a peak of about 24,000 in 2014 and are not at 20,857 for 2016. Benefits paid out in 1997 were 25 million and are not at 66.2M. A recent survey showed that 72% of women believed they were victims of age discrimination, along with 57% of men. Is is possible that “sex discrimination” also plays a role in age discrimination?
In addition to more devious tactics (such as only recruiting at college recruitment fairs), the law (both California state and federal) require that an applicant prove that the reason for the failure to hire was the “substantial motivating factor” in the failure to hire. In the seminal case of Taylor vs City of Santa Monica, the California Supreme Court reversed a multi-million dollar judgment for the pregnancy bus driver, finding that her pregnancy was not the “substantial motivating factor” in her termination. similarly, an age applicant must be able to prove that age was that factor. In a few cases, we’ve had clients hired sight unseen, only to be terminated and/or refused a position when they arrived to assume their job because their age was clearly visible.
Let us know if we can help. Call us at 877 789 9707.