Several states are acting to ban employers from discriminating against job applicants on the basis of prior criminal records and lack of credit worthiness.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was also a national movement to bar employers from discriminating against job applicants whose only “crime” is that they are aged 40 and above?
Technically, it’s already illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of age but the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 is widely ignored when it comes to hiring. Legions of older workers talk about sending out dozens – even hundreds – of resumes and receiving no response. Why? Employers and staffing agencies use internet resume review screening tools to weed out older workers.
The evidence of systemic age discrimination in hiring was overwhelming in a lawsuit filed by job applicant Richard Villarreal. In 2007, at the age of 49, Villarreal began submitting online applications to work as a territory manager for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco. A total of six applications filed by Villarreal were rejected in favor of younger, less experienced applicants. Villarreal learned in 2010 that Reynolds, in combination with outside staffing agencies, was using “resume review guidelines” to week out applications from older applicants.
The guidelines told recruiters to target candidates who are “2–3 YEARS OUT OF COLLEGE” and to “STAY AWAY FROM” candidates with “8–10 YEARS” of prior sales experience.
Reynolds hired 1,024 people as Territory Managers from September 2007 to July 2010 but only 19 or 1.85 percent were over the age of 40 as a result of the resume screening process. Continue reading “Systemic Age Discrimination in Hiring Ignored, Overlooked”