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By Louise Herman

When applying for new jobs, you may find that many applications ask about your age. Whether they outright request your date of birth or you must input the year you graduated high school, this can be anxiety-inducing for many older adults. It’s no secret that many employers often pass up a qualified, older candidate in favor of a younger adult. You may wonder whether or not it’s acceptable for an employer to inquire about how old you are. Keep reading to learn more and discover how a Providence, Rhode Island age discrimination lawyer can represent you if you’ve faced bias.

Are There Laws Against Age Discrimination?

There are numerous laws in place to protect from age discrimination, with the most important being the Age Discrimination Act of 1967. This law extends to employees and applicants. However, it’s essential to note that federal law only protects adults older than forty from bias. As such, those under forty are not protected from age-related discrimination.

However, state laws may differ to add additional protections to employees. Rhode Island extends protections under the Rhode Island Fair Employment Practices Act to shield employees over forty from facing discrimination.

Can an Employer Ask How Old You Are?

Though an employer cannot discriminate against an applicant because of their age, it is not illegal for a job application or hiring manager to inquire about your age. This may ask outright for your birth date or the year you graduated from college, which can provide an estimate of how old you are.

It’s important to understand that this question alone on an application is not enough to prove that you were discriminated against because of your age. Though it can supplement your claim, you must establish that your age is why you did not receive the job.

What Should I Do if I Was Discriminated Against Because of My Age?

If you believe you were discriminated against because of your age, taking the necessary steps is essential to receive the justice you deserve. Be sure to keep a copy of your employment application with the question regarding your age. You may also want to ensure you collect additional evidence to support your claim. For example, you may see on LinkedIn that the company hired a much younger and less qualified individual for the position you applied for. Similarly, you should write down any comments made that reference your age, such as a passing employee making snide remarks about retirement or elderly individuals.

When discriminated against because of how old you are, it can leave you feeling dejected while ruining your job opportunities. If this is the case, you deserve justice. Being over forty does not mean you do not deserve to make a living! At the Herman Law Group, we believe everyone has a right to work. If this is taken from you, you’ll want to contact us today to learn how we can help you.

About the Author
At Herman Law Group, our focus is on safeguarding the rights and careers of employees and businesses alike. With over 35 years of successful legal practice, Louise A. Herman brings an invaluable dual perspective from representing both employees and employers. This unique insight allows us to effectively achieve successful outcomes for our clients in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and nationwide.