Thursday, March 3, 2011

Are businesses really asking for age on employment applications?

I came across an article yesterday on The Huffington Post which says that many large retailers are requiring job applicants to disclose their ages as part of the application process. Are businesses really asking for age on employment applications?

While there’s nothing per se illegal about asking for age on a job application, why ask for certain information that’s illegal to consider? Simply, you should not ask for age, or for any information that suggests age: date of birth, year of high school or college graduation, or anticipated retirement age. The only age-related questions you should ask on job application is whether the applicant is age 18 or over and eligible to work. Anything more crosses the line, and will help a rejected candidate create an inference of discrimination. Why take that risk?

For more information on illegal questions during the hiring process, see Avoid hidden interviewing traps.

Do you want to know if your job application and other hiring processes are legal? Consider KJK’s proprietary (and free) HR and employment law audit.

Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or