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How do I know if a job rejection constitutes age discrimination?

Two high profile cases – including one that the U.S. Supreme Court may consider – examine age discrimination in hiring. A recent study backed up what many older workers have long believed – that your age – particularly if you’re older than 50 – will hurt your chances of getting a new job. The study found that older applicants, particularly older female applicants, were much less likely to be contacted for interviews — in some fields, as much as 47 percent less likely. However, despite research backing up discriminatory hiring practices it may be difficult to prove.

Despite challenges proving age discrimination, several factors may help to bolster your claim. One consideration is whether your employer can show a legitimate reason for hiring a less-qualified younger person for the job? If not, then this may show a presumption of discrimination. Also, did the potential employer only recruit younger applicants – such as only recruiting entry level workers through college recruiting? A pending lawsuit against Price Waterhouse Coopers asserts that recruiting was done through on-campus applications, and did not post entry level jobs on its website, thus limiting its applicant pools to those currently affiliated with a college. If so, this may be evidence of age discrimination.  Other hiring practices companies use which may be discriminatory include only offering employment to those who applicants who been through a certain type of training – which has only recently become available – such as different types of computer courses, or for employers to only recruit people with minimal experience – such as 2-5 years – thus making it likely older workers would not be hired. In Georgia, federal law does not apply to applicants – only employees. However, state law does protect Georgia workers in terms of hiring.

For more information or if you believe that you have been discriminated against at work or in your job search due to your age, please contact the experienced Atlanta age discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.

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