An employer in California or anywhere else in America could commit age discrimination by placing an upper limit on experience required for a job. A man in his 60s applied for a job at STMicroelectronics, Inc. that ultimately went to a person who was 36-years-old. According to the man, he was told by a supervisor that he had too much life experience and could be too inflexible for the role.
The job posting said that the ideal candidate would have about 10 years of experience, which the man had. Already an employee at the company at the time he applied for the job, he filed a lawsuit that a judge refused to dismiss. The judge ruled that a juror could reasonably conclude that discrimination had taken place. According to those who study the issue, age discrimination is something that occurs regularly despite the fact that it is illegal to discriminate against those who are 40 or older.
One study found that two-thirds of respondents between the ages of 45 and 74 had dealt with age discrimination in some form. Generally, companies don't directly tell older workers to stay away. Instead, they ask that applicants have experience with social media or other digital technology. Companies such as IBM have been accused by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of discriminating against older workers.
Discriminating against a worker based on his or her age can be a violation of employment law. Individuals who feel as if they were denied a job, a promotion or a development opportunity because of their age, may find it worthwhile to consult with an attorney. Complaints may also be made to the EEOC. It may be possible to obtain compensation from an employer either through a negotiated settlement or a jury award.