Age Based Illegal Interview Questions in US reflect the assumptions of the employer about a candidate’s maturity according to age. It is unlawful for the employer to make such assumptions of maturity linked to the age factor.
Under the provisions of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), it is illegal for any employer to refuse to hire anybody due to his age or make any distinction on considerations of age.
A request for date of birth of the applicant on the employment application form is not permissible since the ADEA outlaws discrimination based on age. Such direct questions on age may expose the employer to charges of discrimination. Moreover, inquiries as to when the applicant graduated from college could trigger age related controversies. However, an employer would be well within his rights to ask if the applicant fulfills the minimum age requirement for employment under the child labor law.
The employer must also be careful against discrimination of a candidate nearing retirement. While the employer may not be interested in hiring an old worker on the verge of retirement, yet at the same time the employer cannot dismiss a candidate due to his advanced age. Instead for aged applicants it would be advisable for the employer to find out their plans for the future since they may plan to work for a number of years before putting down their papers.
Instances of improper questions on age:
• When were you born?
• When did you graduate from high school?
• How old are you?
• How long do you plan to work before you retire?
The employer can easily turn such controversial questions into harmless legal queries as below:-
Examples of proper questions on age:
• Are you over the age of 18?
• After hiring, verifying the age of the candidate with a birth certificate or other ID and asking age on insurance forms are valid inquiries.