The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has dismissed a complaint filed by a New York man who was barred from applying for a federal job in 2017 because he had not graduated from college within the past two years.
Kathleen M. MGettigan, then acting director of the OPM, stated in a 3/7/18 letter to the complainant, Brian Neary, that the OPM lacks jurisdiction “over the legality” of the Pathway’s Recent Graduates Program because it was the result of an executive order by former President Barack H. Obama.
The OPM program is an example of systemic and institutionalized age discrimination in hiring.
Obama created the Pathways Recent Graduates Program in 2010 to serve as a back-door exemption to Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which expressly prohibits the consideration of age as a factor in hiring. The Pathways program is a type of age discrimination known as “disparate impact discrimination,” where a seemingly neutral policy has an adverse impact on older workers. The vast majority of recent graduates are under the age of 40.
It is estimated the program, which went into effect in 2012, has barred older workers from applying for 100,000 federal jobs and counting. The U.S. government is America’s largest employer.
Neary, then 49, was prohibited from applying for the position of Financial Institutions Specialist with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation because he obtained a Masters of Business Administration more than two years prior to his application.
An only child, Neary said he was forced to leave his former employer, DLJ/ Credit Suisse, to care for his mother, who is now deceased, after she incurred congestive heart failure and other complications.
Neary said he is going to appeal the OPM’s decision to the EEOC and may file a lawsuit.
Neary sent a letter last week to Jeff T.H. Pon, newly-appointed director of the OPM, urging him to contact President Donald Trump and encourage him to permanently revoke the Pathways Recent Graduates Program. Until then, he asked Pon to”[b]e proactive. Unilaterally suspend the OPM Pathways Program pending his revoking President Obama’s ‘legacy’ Executive Order.”
The AARP, which claims to advocate for Americans aged 50+, has failed even to respond to Neary’s request for assistance. (The AARP also has completely ignored discriminatory rulings by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in age discrimination cases.)
At this point, one wonders how the AARP – which collects dues from 38 million older Americans – defines the term”advocacy.”
It is more than a little ironic that the OPM traces its history to the Civil Service Act of 1883 , which was passed to end the corrupt spoils system of partisan hiring in the U.S. government.