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There's a Craigslist job posting from a franchise auto dealership stating it, "prefers young applicants" Is this legal?

Pleasanton, CA |

I came across a craigslist job posting from a franchise dealership stating that it prefers a young and energetic applicant. Is this legal?

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Attorney answers 4


Yes, it is likely illegal. The difficulty is in figuring out what to do with it. If you are not young but energetic and you wish to apply, and if you can prove you did not get the job because you are not young, and you are at least 40 years old and no younger, then you could have a basis for a lawsuit. Of course, proving why you were not selected is difficult to do.

Good luck to you.

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Yes. The terminology used in the ad is borderline because they are not flat out saying people over 40 will not be hired.


I agree with Mr. Pederson. The ad is illegal. It is illegal to advertise based on a desire for a particular version of a protected characteristic (in this case, age). It is not necessary to say, for example, "We want people under 40" to be illegal. Referencing age in this way is illegal.

As Mr. Pederson also pointed out, the real question is what to do about it. If you are not young, they likely will not hire you. The ad constitutes some direct evidence of discrimination, but they may manufacture another reason for choosing someone else.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

Craig T. Byrnes

Disclaimer: Please be aware that I am not offering legal advice, nor forming an attorney-client relationship with you. I am not representing you, nor doing anything to protect your legal rights. If you believe that you have suffered a legal wrong, take action before any statute or limitations expires, or your right to do so may be lost forever. Good luck in your legal matter.


Yes, it is illegal to discriminate based on age (over 40). If you are qualified for the position, but are not hired based on age, that is illegal discrimination. If you can prove you are qualified and have relevant experience, and you apply and are not hired, and the position remains open after you are not hired, that advertisement would be relevant evidence of unlawful discrimination. If this occurs, you should consult with an employment law attorney.