As a Professional Career Service Advisor, I often hear employers asking illegal questions of myself and the graduates I coach. As a job seeker, you should know what an employer is not allowed, legally, to ask you. In fact, it could give you an advantage by declining to answer.
Read through the information below. You have the right to know your rights.
“How old are you?”
Don’t answer that. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967(ADEA) protects individuals age 40 or over from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA’s protection is applicable to employees as well as job applicants. The ADEA also stipulates that it is unlawful to discriminate against a person of his/her age, with respect to any term, condition or privilege of employment. This includes hiring, training, job assignments, compensation, layoffs and terminations.
Retaliating against an individual is also unlawful. If you oppose employment practices that discriminate based on the factor of age or for filing an age discriminating charge, the law is on your side. If you testify and/or participate in any way in an investigation proceeding or litigation under the ADEA, the law is on your side if your employer penalizes you in any way.
The ADEA is applicable to employers with 20 or more employees, including state and local government. In addition, protection includes apprentice programs, job notices and advertisements, pre-employment inquiries and benefits.
If you are going into an interview or are currently employed, no matter what your circumstance, always remember you have rights.