IMDb Challenges CA’s Weak Age Discrimination Law

Note: San Francisco U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria  in February 2017 granted’s request to block California Assembly Bill 1687 while the website’s lawsuit challenging it winds through the courts. He said it  does not appear likely to combat age discrimination in the entertainment industry in any meaningful way. PGB

hollywoodNot surprisingly, Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is seeking an injunction to stop the Attorney General of California from enforcing California Assembly Bill 1687, which prohibits the site from publishing the ages of individuals at their request.

IMDb, a subsidiary of Amazon, argues the CA law chills free speech and undermines “access to factual information of public interest.” The company argues the law, adopted last fall, violates its right to free speech under the First Amendment

Some 2,300 people have requested their ages be removed from the IMDbPro service, which provides detailed information for casting agents and other professionals in the industry.

Age discrimination in the entertainment industry is more visible but mirrors the problem in society at large. The U.S. Congress has afforded older workers fewer rights under the law than victims of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, color or national origin. This makes older workers more vulnerable to age discrimination and gives them fewer tools to combat the problem. So older workers are forced to pursue weak efforts like the passage of the California law.

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