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Have you ever experienced age discrimination in hiring?

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Question: "Have you ever experienced age discrimination in hiring? My significant other and I have each been required to fill out background check forms that include our full birthdates and our college graduation dates. Even though the forms state that age will not be a factor in interviewing/hiring, it’s now obvious that we are over 50 years old. I see no good reason why these forms can’t wait until the company has made an offer or is about to. Do you? How would you handle this?" —Over 50

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Glenda April 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

In our company I cannot remember age ever being a factor in hiring or not hiring anyone. Personally, if I were going to be biased about age I would probably lean more to hiring an older individual than someone younger. Why? Several factors actually. Life experience, generally better work ethics, maturity, often less drama, just to name a few. It is unlawful to ask for age or date of birth on the application but in order to do a background check you have to give your birthdate for the reasons stated in earlier posts. We do criminal background checks on all employees before they are hired.

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lcr April 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm

My company’s policy is that the offer must be made and accepted before we ask for information to conduct a background check and drug screening. The offer is contingent upon successfully passing both pre-employment tests. Since this type of law is governed by individual states, I suggest you check with your state’s department of employment for your state laws with regard to these practices.

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Gina March 30, 2012 at 9:44 am

We do background checks but it’s because of felonies, etc. Not because of age. It does ask for you birthday but like it was stated above it’s so the company that we use can make sure they are getting the correct Jane Doe. Background checks ARE NOT done until you have completed the interview process and a job has been offered to you. However if you come back with something our company has a policy against you are not going to get the job (but this is stated in our job application that we do drug screens and background checks). So it’s not necessarily age discrimination just get the facts to get you the job. Good luck!

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AdminAmy March 29, 2012 at 11:10 pm

I’ve heard some people recommend you leave off of your resume the years you graduated from college—but that just seems obvious to me that you’re hiding something and incomplete from the point of view of the reviewers (it bothered me when I used to hire people). There are too many resumes in the pile to bother with the ones I had to ask basic questions like that .

I know you can arrange your resume by skills/talents without the years, but I don’t like those resumes, I find them confusing…when I was hiring, I liked the experience organized chronologically. I just find them easier to read that way and see their career path.

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Mark March 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm

We do background checks on all top candidates before an offer is made. Birth dates are necessary for the firms that do background checks, so they can do a thorough job. For example, if your name is John Doe and your birth date is 1/1/52, and you live in Chicago, you wouldn’t want them to think you are the same John Doe who lives in Chicago and is a felon, but was born on 7/12/68. Their having your birth date helps you, so the background firm doesn’t think you are someone else who might be doing some really bad things. (I speak from experience. There is another resident of my state with the same first, middle, and last name, and the state accidentally gave us the same driver’s license number. The one and only thing that differentiates us in a background check is our different birth dates.) So yes, I can see a very valid reason why they need your birth date sooner rather than later.

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Rebecca March 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I came north in Canada in order to escape age discrimination in Calgary. I had interviews with 20 yr old “office managers” that had no administrative backgrounds at all or any post secondary education. During interviews they didn’t hear my qualifications or employment in civilian and military administrative postions and that those didn’t really matter, including my security clearance with the Department of National Defence (Secret) -yes, there is AGE discrimination. I am now employed in an administrative field and I am over 50.

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Judi Segalini March 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Many employers do background checking prior to hire. Background checking requires this information to complete the process. I do a contingent hire and do the background after that however, it can be done prior. My opinion is that if they are spending the money/time to do a background check you are a serious contender for the position. I would not assume there is any age discrimination here. If you should not get the job you have the right to ask why you were not selected. Hope this helped.

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