Marymount Manhattan College’s refusal to hire a 64-year-old choreography instructor for a tenure-track position has left the New York City liberal arts school tap dancing around age discrimination charges. The EEOC has filed a lawsuit on the woman’s behalf.
According to the EEOC, the college search committee initially identified three possible candidates for the position, and the 64-year-old ranked first.
The committee then expanded its search to include a fourth candidate, age 37, whom the committee deemed to be “at the right moment of her life for commitment to a full-time position.”
The complaint asserts that the college hired the 37-year-old despite the older candidate’s better qualifications.
If settlement talks fail, this case is headed for a federal court trial in New York City.
Note: Colleges and universities often delegate hiring decisions to professors who often lack training about how to comply with federal and state employment laws. Employers should always make sure those responsible for hiring know what laws they must follow before they begin the process.