When the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that employers cannot discriminate against workers who are 40 or older, it means that employers may never discriminate against workers during any part of the job process. This includes during your interview and negotiations if the employer wants to hire you.
Not getting hired as a result of your age could be discriminatory if the role you were applying for is not exempt from age discrimination requirements. For example, in some roles, such as for actors or actresses, it may not be reasonable to hire someone who is 40 or older for a teen role.
It’s not fair to discriminate during the hiring process
It is unlawful to discriminate against a person when they are being hired, being assigned to a role, being laid off, being trained or otherwise taking part in the employment process. It is also illegal to harass someone because of their age.
So, for example, if you go to an interview and the interviewer states that you look a little old for the job, this could be a sign that they’re discriminating against you. If you don’t get the position, you may be able to file a claim stating that your age was used against you in the hiring process.
You will need to show that the action taken by the employer was illegal because it was based on no other reasonable factor other than your age.
How can you make a claim for age discrimination?
It is important that you try to collect evidence if you would like to make a claim against an employer or potential employer for age discrimination. For example, if you receive a rejection notice for your application and see a note that you look too old or are too old for the role, then this could be used in your case. If you have witnesses who heard an interviewer calling you grandma or grandpa, or if there is evidence of the interviewer making fun of your age in other ways, then this may help you make your case as well. Get as much evidence as you can, so you can make a solid claim.