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Do I have an age discrimination case?

New Britain, CT |

I was asked..."when did I graduate from college?" That question is forbidden in CT. I was submitted for a job by an agency. Hours later, I received an e-mail from the recruiter stating that the employer had gotten back to her, and they were asking. Before getting to the e-mail, the recruiter called me to get my response. I answered, then never heard from them about my candidacy. After following up repeatedly, I learned that I was not being considered.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

That question is not legally forbidden per se. The State and federal discrimination agencies may look long and hard as to whether age discrimination occurred, but the inquiry is not forbidden in itself. There is no stereotyped presumption in the law that everyone graduates at the same age. The information is used to verify schooling and degrees obtained, and also to see whether someone is hiding an employment gap. By the same token, applicants are ordinarily asked to provide a complete work history. Someone with 35 years at a company will most likely be older than someone with a two year work history, but the revelation of age does not make the inquiry illegal.

The above does not constitute legal advice in any specific situation, and is provided for informational and discussion purposes only.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for the explanation. I was under the impression that it was an illegal question because I've read from many sources that employers in CT may NOT ask "when did you graduate?" It is even on the state's DOL website: http://www1.ctdol.state.ct.us/viewarticle.asp?intArticle=21.

Michael P Devlin

Michael P Devlin

Posted

Yes, such statement is on the site chart, but that does not give it the force of law itself. Also, even if an inquiry is unlawful, that fact does not prove discrimination in itself. Yet, as I mentioned, CHRO may give a harder look at the issue of whether age discrimination occurred because of the inquiry, as they may view the question as a building block of a case.

Asker

Posted

Thank you again for providing a clearer picture of the law. I will discuss it with CHRO because I do believe it factored in their decision since it is an entry level position. Have a good evening.

Michael P Devlin

Michael P Devlin

Posted

Your reference to the position as entry level triggered another thought. Any contention by the company that you were "over qualified" could also be consistent with an age claim.

Asker

Posted

Not likely...college educated but unemployed without much record of achievement.

Posted

Failure to hire cases are very hard to prove. There could be any number of reasons why that employer chose to go in another direction and any number of those reasons could be non-discriminatory.

That being said, if you are sure, and if you have evidence, that you were not hired based on age discrimination, you should seek counsel with a local employment attorney.

Joshua Erlich is an attorney in Arlington, Virginia. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an experienced attorney to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Erlich's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your input. I have the e-mail asking the illegal question. It is an entry-level position, and I am a few years older than a typical entry-level employee. My view is that if my qualifications were weak, they wouldn't care when I graduated. Thanks again.

Posted

Threshold issue : are you over 40? Federal age discrimination statutes protect only those over 40. Under 40, age discrimination is not unlawful.

The question is not unlawful, just unwise.

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