It is illegal for employers to discriminate based on age in relation to people aged 40 and older during any portion of the hiring or employment process. But proving age discrimination can be tricky.
You must show that age was the reason for the employer’s negative action, which is not an easy task, especially in the hiring process.
Age discrimination law
Federal law prohibits employers from using age as a decision-making factor in all employment situations. But this only applies to individuals age 40 or older. Younger workers have no such protection.
Potential age discrimination
Typically, your age or a good estimate of your age comes from looking at dates on your resume or application, such as work and graduation dates. So, most employers will know about how old you are even if you do not state it outright, so you know it could be a factor. However, you must prove it was the deciding factor.
Tactics for proving age discrimination
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does not side with the employees in most age discrimination cases, so it is very difficult to prove your case. Because you are on the outside of the company, it makes it even harder to prove an employer passed over your application due to your age. You would need some proof that the screening software was biased or written or spoken records of a hiring manager saying he or she passed you by due to age. Make sure to note any comments that are questionable as they can serve as good evidence.
You may have to work harder to prove age discrimination, but if you can do it, it is a wonderful win for all older workers.