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Ageism in recruitment

On Behalf of | May 31, 2024 | Workplace Discrimination

Having someone discriminate against you because of your age when you are working for them is one thing. But sometimes the company’s ageism might prevent you from getting the job in the first place. 

Age discrimination in recruiting can be blatant or subtle, intentional or done subconsciously but whatever the form it takes, it is not allowed. Provided you are over 40 when it happens, the law forbids it and offers you legal options if it occurs. Here are some examples of how it can look:

Blatant age discrimination

The owner of a bar wants their servers to look a certain way. They believe that having young, attractive servers will help them to attract the crowd they want. So, when an experienced 42-year-old server walks in to enquire about the job the owner tells her that the job is now filled, despite the fact the advert is still on the door and the post is still available. He made a snap judgment about her based on her age.

Subtle age discrimination

The same owner decides to post the position on the town’s Facebook group. “Wanted – energetic, fun-loving bar staff for the town’s top party spot.” The same 42-year-old server sees the ad and never even bothers applying. She can tell straight away she would be wasting her time, as while the ad does not specifically mention age, the language it uses suggests the owner will only consider someone much younger.

Businesses should take great care when recruiting. Even if they try to be fair their unconscious biases could lead them to discount applicants based on age. If you believe a company has discriminated against you during the recruitment process it’s wise to learn more about the legal options available.