I have worked for this company for a year at an entry level position. I was given a performance review 6 months ago and in the review it clearly states that I was promotable. The manager also stated that I was the only employee, in the district that was promotable. When a position became open I applied. I waited a couple weeks to follow up on the opening and was told that they were screening thru resume and he would send my resume to his manager and it was not up to him if I got an interview. After waiting a few more weeks, I still had not heard anything - so I called my manager and she informed me that they were looking for someone young and that could move up quicker.
Employment / Labor Attorney
If what you are writing is accurate-- you could very well have an actionable claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) which prohibits discrimination in job decisions based on age. You may also have a claim under State law if your State has a counter-part in the law. There are many factors that will determine if you would have a successful claim-- which would include a strict comparison between you, the other candidate and the qualifications for the job. You should consult an employment attorney in your area. You can probably call the State Bar or local Bar Association to find references for attorneys that primarily practice in employment law. You will have to file an EEOC claim before you move forward with any lawsuit-- you can do that on your own at your local EEOC office (eeoc.gov to find the local office)-- however, it is advisable to talk with an attorney before going to the EEOC.
Good luck, and sorry to hear about your situation.