Ideal Age Range? Not so Ideal

The EEOC recently sued an employer for age discrimination after the employer rejected a 58-year-old applicant because he did not fall within the employer’s “ideal age range of 45 – 52.” How did the EEOC learn about the employer’s ideal age range? The employer actually sent the applicant an e-mail during the interview process in which it asked him whether he was within the company’s ideal age range and then rejected the employee when he disclosed he was 58.  It is unclear whether the employer will be able to prove the employee was rejected for reasons unrelated to age. It is clear, however, that no employer should ever state an ideal age range in writing unless it wants to spend some time in litigation.

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