Not many things are as fulfilling as landing your dream job. But what happens if you fail to secure the job you are qualified for ostensibly because you are “too old” for the role?
It is unlawful for a prospective employer to discriminate against you based on protected characteristics like your race, religion, gender and age. Unfortunately, age discrimination is not uncommon, and if you are a victim during the recruitment process, you deserve justice. However, proving that you missed out on the job thanks to your age can be quite tricky.
Understanding age discrimination
At the very basic, age discrimination during the recruitment process happens when a prospective employer treats you less favorably than the other candidates on the basis of your age. It is important to understand that federal and state laws prohibit the use of age as a factor in decision-making in all forms of employment situations.
Proving age discrimination
If you were qualified for the role in question, at least more than the other candidates, here are a couple of pointers that can tell you if you fell through the cracks because your prospective employer deemed you “too old.”
Some interview questions were age-biased – if the interviewer asked questions regarding your age, how long you intend to continue working or how close you are to retiring, then you need to be concerned. Likewise, if they take time to describe the organization’s culture and employee age preference, then this too could be a sign of ageism during the recruitment process.
When they expressly indicate the age group they are looking for – when the organization outlines qualifications that have nothing to do with your ability to do the job, you need to ask questions. For instance, if you are explicitly told during the interview process that you may not be fit for an administrative role because you are 45, then this could be age discrimination.
Being discriminated against based on your age can be disheartening, to say the least. If you are denied an opportunity to work primarily because of age, you deserve justice.