Can Employers Restrict Hiring Employees Only to a Certain Age Group for Their Customers?

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Question:

Shortly after my job interview began, one interviewer said, “We were hoping to just speak with younger female job applicants still in their reproductive years since this job involves talking with women who develop breast cancer in their Twenties (20’s), immediately after giving birth.” I was then asked why I thought women under the age of fifty would feel comfortable speaking with me about their birthing and breast cancer experiences. I noted that I had tree grown children but that I had never struggled with any form of cancer.

I am over 70 years of age and traveled a long distance to get to this job interview. I guess these people failed to notice my stated graduation date on their application form. This employer is a rather prestigious one that may be operating under private or government grants. Can those grants make a difference to an age discrimination claim I might file?

 

Answer:

There are valid circumstances when an employer can make “age-based” employment decisions. You’ll need a qualified attorney to determine if the employer you referenced was acting in a lawful manner. The question you referenced did sound somewhat suspect but it will take an employment law specialist to properly advise you.

Your question about the grant money involved is an interesting one. Be sure to raise it when you meet with your attorney. You will probably be given the option of filing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claim and a basic civil lawsuit. Be prepared to share copies of the job announcement and your application materials with your attorney.

The EEOC takes all claims filed very seriously. During Fiscal Year 2008, the agency resolved over 21,000 age discrimination charges.

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