Blatant Age Discrimination? You Be the Judge

One of our Unemployment Intervention supporters is convinced she was recently discriminated against for her age. She sent me a copy of the note she sent to the head of a well-known contract staffing company she feels is practicing age discrimination. Our viewer is 53 years old and very frustrated with her job search. Below is the note she sent to a well-known staffing company recounting the events that took place with them. (The names have been removed to protect both sides.) We invite you to be the judge. Is this age discrimination? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Greetings ___, This morning I received an e-mail notification from one of the jobs boards regarding the position with XXXX that Y from your company and I met last week to discuss. The posting was on SimplyHired and dated as of yesterday, June 25. I was wondering if you could clarify the process we just followed.
  1. Y sent an e-mail on June 17 stating she found my resume on CareerBuilder. It is obvious from my CV and credentials posted I am a seasoned professional. Y apparently thought I met the criteria for the position scope she was given.
  2. She and I spoke by phone on June 17 to briefly review my experience as it pertained to the position.
  3. Y and I met on Monday, June 20 at your company's office to review my experience and credentials. I provided several above average examples of how I was a viable candidate for the role.
  4. On June 23, Y sent an e-mail stating: "The job description that they sent over to us was a little over board. They have actually decided to bring someone in who is directly out of school or only has a years of experience, a very entry level position that will pay about $15-$20 hourly." This statement led me to believe that the company with the open position was adjusting their criteria to seek a person with limited professional experience.
  5. Y also stated in her e-mail: "However, they were very impressed by your resume and if they ever decide to bring in a higher level consultant, looks like you would be a good fit." This statement led me to believe that if the position were more senior, I would be a viable candidate.
  6. Today, June 24, I received an e-mail for a posting dated yesterday, June 23, with the same job description Y and I had discussed last week.
Any light you can shed on the turn of events would be greatly appreciated. If I have a deficiency in skills with regard to this position, then please elaborate. The only way I can improve my skill set to qualify for such an opportunity is to know where there is room for me to do so. The statements regarding the change in criteria such as "directly out of school", "only has a few [sic] years of experience", "a very entry level position", and "that will pay about $15-$20 hourly" are all implicit toward meaning "younger candidate." What is worse about the situation is that your firm sought me out! Quite frankly, you have insulted my intelligence. In fact, please remove my name from your roster. I no longer wish to be affiliated with your firm. If there is not transparency, integrity and honesty to simple say "they did not want you," then we have no basis for a continued relationship. What do you think? Who is right? Should the situation have been handled differently by either party? J.T. O’Donnell is the founder of CAREEREALISM.com and CEO of CareerHMO.com, a web-based career development company. Photo credit: Shutterstock

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