Discrimination in hiring is illegal. If you went in for an interview and they told you that they weren’t going to hire you because of your age, your gender or the fact that you were pregnant, for example, you’d have a potential lawsuit on your hands. Employers cannot discriminate against workers for reasons that are considered protected classes.
However, there are still situations in which discrimination happens, but it just isn’t as obvious. The job postings themselves could be discriminatory, long before you even get to an interview.
One example of age discrimination
For instance, you may read a job posting that says the company is looking for an “energetic” person or that they’re looking to hire a “digital native.” They may say that they’re looking to bring on “recent college graduates” to transform their workforce.
When you see this type of language, it can be problematic because of the age implications involved. If someone is 45 years old, they may have graduated college roughly 20 years ago. They don’t consider themselves a recent college graduate, and so they may feel that they are being discriminated against based on their age. This is illegal because employers can’t discriminate against those who are over 40.
The job posting doesn’t necessarily list a specific age. But it still describes the ideal candidate, and this can lead those who are otherwise well qualified to feel that they have been discriminated against and that they should not apply.
What options do you have?
If you face discrimination on the job, it can have a major impact on your career prospects. Make sure you are well aware of all the legal options at your disposal.