Is it required to provide your age information when applying for a job? Are there discriminatory protective laws?

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Question:

I applied for a job as a secretary the other day, and the job application asked for my age. I don't see what that has to do with being a secretary, and so I left it blank. The employer asked me to please finish filling out the application in full before the interview, including my age. It made me really uncomfortable. Why would they need to know this, isn’t discriminating based on age illegal when they are hiring someone?

 

Answer:

Although questions related to age and date of birth isn’t strictly prohibited under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the ADEA does require there to be a legitimate, lawful reason for asking the question. Depending on the nature of the job and the job requirements, there may not be a legitimate reason for the presence of the question on the application you filled out. In addition, the employers’ insistence on you answering the question, even when you expressed discomfort, may make it more likely that this behavior was discriminatory. Your best course of action would be to speak with a qualified ADEA employment law professional regarding the event, to get advice on your possible options. 

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