It is rare today for an employer to provide documentary evidence that makes it easy to show age discrimination in hiring
However, when a Princeton, N.J.-based IT staffing firm learned of an applicant’s date of birth, the company sent the applicant an email stating that he would no longer be considered for the position because he was “born in 1945” and “age will matter.”
The EEOC has charged the company, Diverse Lynx, with violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 by failing to refer a job applicant because of his age . The EEOC filed a lawsuit this week in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (EEOC v. Diverse Lynx, Civil Action No. 17-cv-03220) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The ADEA prohibits employment discrimination based on age, including discrimination in referrals by employment agencies.
Kevin Berry, the EEOC’s New York District director, said, “The firm told the man, ‘age will matter.’ Actually, the only things that matter are abilities and qualifications … .”
Unfortunately, the lawsuit represents an aberration for the EEOC, which has done remarkably little in the past decade to combat epidemic age discrimination in hiring in the United States.