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  • Potential for discriminatory language in a job description California

    Here's the situation:

    Manager wants to hire someone into their department. Wants to make as a requirement that the person have no more than 8-12 years (12 max) total work experience past college graduation. Not 12 years relevant experience, such as on top of other positions they've held; 12 years max total work experience.

    Assuming the average age of a new college grad is 22, this would appear to mean no one over the age of 34 is going to get hired.

    Question: Even though no mention of age is made in the job description, does this requirement have the same effect and therefore makes this illegal discrimination based on age?

  • #2
    It could. But I'm also thinking of a friend of mine who graduated from college the same week she had her 60th birthday.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Agree, many people are going to college & graduating at a later age these days.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

      Comment


      • #4
        Das ist in der Doktor!

        What is the position?
        What will they do?
        Does there appear to be pattern to this managers hiring practices?
        Just looking around, what is the average age of the new hires? or of the office in general?
        If you are talking about hiring a sky diving instructor it may be a reasonable request.
        If it's just someone to schlep pencils and papers around an office than you might have a manager who has found a creative and legal form of age discrimination. And by legal I mean no one has passed a law against the practice.
        Yet.
        ..___________________________
        ~ Those who cannot hear an angry shout,
        may strain to hear a whisper

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        • #5
          Not my area of expertise, but someone who considered themselves to be injuried by said practice and posted their question/issue here, it is likely we would advise them to of course talk to a local attorney and maybe mention the phrase "disparate impact" in regards to the ADEA law.

          Clever ways around laws often end up not being all that clever after all.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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          • #6
            Das ist in der Doktor!

            Yes, I agree an Attorney would be the way to go, however,
            most of the unemployed can not afford an Attorney and the A.C.L.U. is not really interested in employment law or the lack there of because that's not really what they do.
            AND,
            I've head it suggested that it wouldn't be "cost effective" because it likely would only benefit the unskilled and older workers.

            Another slant on this is the practice of requiring six months of resent work experience, before you can even apply, effectively eliminating the long term unemployed.
            It's not illegal to do so, because there are no laws that say they can't.
            That has gotten the attention of some, but legislators in general don't seem to be falling all over themselves to address the problem.
            ..______________________
            ~ Helping rid the world of stupidity,
            starting with my own.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'll elaborate a bit on this situation:

              It's a marketing position, not one where age can legitimately be a criterion for a hire (e.g. - law enforcement, emergency services, military, etc.).

              The manager would hire someone with 12 years total work experience, but not 20. And again, this is total work experience, not just related work experience on top of any other. There is nothing I can discern within the job responsibilities that can be done by someone with 12 years total work history, but not by someone with 20. The manager's first reaction upon learning that a recently-phone-interviewed candidate had at least another 10 years work history not included on the resume was, "[This person] has to be a lot older than I am!" and "I took it that I was talking to someone maybe 32 years old, and then I find out [the candidate] is a lot older than that". In both of these statements, the candidate's higher age was presented as a negative. It's also been asked of the search team by this manager that when candidates are initially screened, they be vetted for any additional work history not on their resume so their true duration (not relevance) of their work history can be determined, particularly if they did not include year of college graduation on their resume.

              The net of all this is that the manager will rule out anyone above a certain age, regardless of their skills and capabilities.

              Comment


              • #8
                I believe the employer might have a problem here. Refer to DAW's post #5 - there seems to be a "disparate impact" on older employees with the employer's practices.

                Also, the Ca. FEHA prohibits employers with 5 or more employees from discriminating against employees due to age (40 & over).
                Last edited by Betty3; 11-23-2012, 11:33 PM.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The business about years after college is not necessarily a problem, since people go to college (and graduate from it) at all ages.

                  But if he's screening out people based on their age by whatever method, and it means the people over 40 are adversely affected, that is illegal under both state and Federal law.
                  The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Agree, it seems the employer has more than one practice to keep/try keeping from hiring older workers - illegal to not hire someone just because of their age.
                    (40 & over federal & Ca.)
                    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It is time someone had a chat with this manager. I am continually amazed by the number of folks who are in management positions who are utterly clueless about employment law. Makes me wonder what other laws this guy is ignorant of and how he plans to staff his department.

                      I would point blank ask about the 12 years beyond college limit. I'd also ask what his issue is with hiring an older candidate.
                      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                      • #12
                        Tell him you have someone with a degree in Marketing, Communications Public Relations, that graduated in 2008. (ME!) I am willing to relocate to California. (native)

                        I have experience in PR, Communications, Marketing, Engineering, (Certified Stationary Engineer) Computers, Research, as well as Mediation.

                        If he says he is interested, then tell him that I am 53. Base on his reaction you know if you have a problem.

                        I am finding it impossible to get hired in my fields because of my age. I am back to doing construction/plumbing as everyone is wanting to hire kids with no real world experience.

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                        • #13
                          The bottom line is what your manager is doing is illegal if he will not hire anyone just because of their age - 40 & over.
                          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Das ist in der Doktor!

                            Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                            It is time someone had a chat with this manager. I am continually amazed by the number of folks who are in management positions who are utterly clueless about employment law. Makes me wonder what other laws this guy is ignorant of and how he plans to staff his department.

                            I would point blank ask about the 12 years beyond college limit. I'd also ask what his issue is with hiring an older candidate.
                            Clueless, maybe,
                            there's such a fine line between stupid and clever.
                            Some believe things are illegal only if you get caught.
                            ..________________
                            ~ Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity;
                            and I'm not sure about the universe. ~ Albert Einstein


                            Last edited by drruthless; 11-27-2012, 04:45 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Some know the law & ignore it but there are many people in higher up positions who don't even know the law.
                              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                              Comment

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