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Why is a job posting for “recent graduates” problematic?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2023 | Employees' Rights |

When creating job postings, company owners will sit down and consider all of the qualities that they want that potential applicant to have. Then try to distill this into the posting so that only the right individuals will actually apply. This isn’t a perfect science, but it does help them sort potential applicants immediately.

One thing that they may say is that they’re looking to hire recent college graduates. Maybe they want young, energetic people in the office. Maybe they’re interested in technology and they want someone who’s been using it all their life. They think it makes perfect sense to ask for young people who just got out of school to come work at their business. So why could this create a problem?

The potential for age discrimination

One issue is that this may be a way for some businesses to try to cover up age discrimination. Generally speaking, most people graduate high school at around 18 years old and college at around 22 years old. There can be some discrepancy, and you can technically enroll in college at any age. You may even have had classes with someone who is in their 40s or 50s.

But it is also not nearly as common. The wording of “recent college graduates” could be construed to imply that only young people should apply for the job. Since it is illegal to discriminate against workers who are over 40 years old, if they’re being told that they shouldn’t even apply, that could be a form of discrimination. The company can still hire young people, but these older workers definitely deserve a chance to apply and show that they have all the skills and qualities to do the job. Omitting them on the basis of their age alone is illegal.

As you can see, even small details can cause legal problems. Those involved need to know about the options at their disposal.


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