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We suspect an employment agency may be discriminating against some applicants due to age. How can we expose their practices?

Fremont, CA |

This well-known agency claims to place applicants with great regularity, but it is a fact known to us that applicants of a "certain age" (over 40) are NOT placed with the same frequency, if ever. We know we have the right to choose from the myriad of agencies, but is it legal when this particular agency is known for placing younger applicants? Can anything be done to bring their unfair practices to light?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

I agree with Mr. Hirsch. If your suspicions have merit, favoring younger job applicants over those over 40 is illegal but can be difficult to prove. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has the ability to conduct an investigation by looking at statistical evidence, such as who is available in the applicant pool for particular jobs versus and who actually gets who gets sent to those jobs - things private attorneys have no access to, pre-litigation. If you can get a few people together for a telephone interview, you may be able to convince the DFEH to conduct such an investigation.

They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.


You can bring your concerns to the attention of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. They have jurisdiction in California for discrimination matters such as this... Best of luck to you...

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This seems like something that would be difficult to prove. The employment agency could be sending out older applicants, but their customers might not be hiring older applicants. If they are not presenting older applicants, that is a different story, of course.
I believe that the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) does more investigations than the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Both the federal and state agencies are hampered by severe budget cuts, so any investigation they are able to conduct will take a bit of time. I would go ahead and file with the EEOC to preserve your deadlines. They will coordinate this with the DFEH. The EEOC will send out letters starting the investigation. If they close the investigation or find no evidence of discrimination, then you should look at what they have to say and re-evaluate this issue.
Good luck. Age discrimination, in general, is a really difficulty thing to prove.

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