Avoiding Online Age Discrimination in the Hiring Process

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on April 06, 2017 6:57 AM

In the facile computer world, people sometimes get lazy with things like spelling and math. Auto-correct covers a host of spelling sins, but math requires a little more work.

For internet job sites like Monster, Indeed, and CareerBuilder, it turned out to be a bigger problem. The Illinois attorney general recently cracked down on them and others for potentially violating age discrimination laws by screening out older workers online.

If you can do basic math, however, your company can avoid online age discrimination. It starts with taking responsibility and continues with ensuring accountability.

Responsibility

CareerBuilder quickly accepted responsibility for the oversight and corrected the problem, which stemmed from a drop down menu for applicants to select a graduation year.

"CareerBuilder is committed to helping workers of all ages find job opportunities and has fixed this unfortunate oversight," said Michael Erwin, director of global corporate communications and social media for the Chicago-based job search site.

Monster, Ladders, Beyond, Indeed, and Vault were not as forthcoming. The attorney general's office has asked them to provide all documents to explain how they selected the earliest year for applicants to indicate graduation.

Accountability

Age discrimination suits are hotter than some startups in the tech industry. According to reports, more than 90 age discrimination cases have been filed against Silicon Valley companies in the past five years.

Google, Apple, Oracle, Cisco, Genentech, and Hewlett-Packard have all been sued more than once. Yahoo, Intel, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tesla, and Twitter round out the top tech dozen in wrongful termination litigation.

CareerBuilder quickly solved its jobsite problem. More companies, however, need to be accountable for age discrimination in online job postings and in the workplace.

"When it comes to the technology sector, experts say if you're over 35 or 40, you're pretty much over the hill," Steve Tobak reported. "And, if you look at the hiring practices at some of the valley's hottest Internet and social networking companies, it's hard to overlook the cold hard reality that age discrimination is prevalent."

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