Age Discrimination: Employment Ads that Cap Experience

Placing a cap on years of experience could be code for “we 
don’t want to hire old people.”
A recent lawsuit in Texas involved an employment ad that stated “…the right candidate will have strong academic and employment credentials…with about 10 years of experience.”
The ad happened to be for a lawyer to be in-house counsel for a company.
As you can imagine, a lawyer who was over the age for 40 applied for the job, was interviewed, did not get the job, and filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the company.
The lawyer-candidate stated that besides the employment ad, a company recruiter told him that the company did not want someone with so much experience that they would be inflexible.
The judge did not allow this situation to go to a jury trial based on a few lucky breaks for the company. But you may not be so lucky.
As such, the best advice is to avoid employment ads and interviewer comments that in any way suggest that candidates:
#1 Have too much experience.
#2 Are overqualified.
#3 May be inflexible based on years of experience.
#4 May hold onto old ways of doing things.
#5 May not be open to new ways of doing things.
#6 Have an ideal num ber of years of experience, rather 
than a minimum number of years of experience.
Suggestions that candidates have at least “3 to 5 years of experience” or “more than 7 years of experience” are appropriate. But when you try to get cute or suggest an “ideal,” that is when you “put a few toes over the line.”
Dedicated To Enhancing Your HR Assets!
Kiesha Valentine, PHR, SHRM-CP, CMHR
Human Resources
Cell: 714-982-1789
Mailing Address:
5753 E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd., Suite #G242
Anaheim Hills, CA 92807


Categories: HR NEWS

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