We Protect Workers

Job postings for “recent college grads” could be discriminatory 

Employers are prohibited from discriminating based on age, specifically when targeting those who are 40 years old and older. This is why they cannot specify in a job posting that they would like to hire someone in their 20s. Even language such as saying that they are looking for “young” candidates can be a sign of discrimination, despite not specifying the age.

As a result, most employers won’t make this mistake. They understand that age discrimination is illegal. But there could still be problematic language in the job posting, even if the employer doesn’t realize it.

Identifying an age group

The issue is that the description of the ideal candidate may still imply that they need to be in a certain age group. For instance, maybe the company says that they’re looking to hire someone who is “energetic,” an employee who is a “digital native” or someone who is a “recent college graduate.”

Now, they could technically be describing a worker in their 50s who has a lot of energy, who has been in the tech industry for most of their life and who recently went back to school to finish their degree.

But the implication is still that they are looking for a relatively young candidate. They want someone who just got out of college, for instance, and the vast majority of graduates are in their 20s. If they want someone who is a digital native, they may exclude anyone who was born after the 1980s. This type of wording could still be discriminatory, even if it’s not as overt as saying that they’re looking to hire a young employee.

What options do you have?

Do you feel that you have suffered age discrimination in the workplace or in the process of trying to get a job? It’s important to take the time to look into all of the legal options at your disposal.