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Newbie

Was I discriminated against?

Looking for some input. I recently had an interview at a local Target store. I remember the on-line application asked if I "was over 40." I am wondering if this is legal. When I exited the store, I didn't see *anyone* who even remotely looked like me-everyone seemed to be early 20s. Has anyone here had experience with interviewing at Target? I thought my interview went well-this was for a credit greeter and cashier position, both of which I have extensive experience. Many thanks for any answers/direction you may be able to provide me. I am new to the AARP Forums and hope to help someone else out.
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Newbie

You can bet your bottom dollar you were and the application violates the age discrimination laws. do you have the application that states that? if not go in and get one and take it for evidence.

 

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Contributor

I went to the Target website and looked at the application.  I could find no question referencing 40 years of age.  Of course, they ask for your birth date, so figuring out your age is simple arithmetic.  Therefore, the question is why would this big, multi-national company with more lawyers than you can shake a stick at, risk a discrimination suit over such a crazy, illegal question?  The answer is they wouldn't.

 

As to all the other employees appearing to be in their early 20's, this could have something to do with the wage scale for this type of position.  Since it is probably close to the minimum wage, this work attracts mainly young people who do not have the qualifications for higher paying jobs.

 

Next, let me add that I am 65, so I am not picking on old people.  However, many of my peers give us old people a bad name.  They are overweight, haven't exercised in years and often don't bother to care for their appearance.  Their favorite topic of conversation is their health - bad, of course - and how someone is always screwing them out of something.  I don't want to be around these people and I can easily understand that employers would not want anything to do with them.  It has nothing to do with discrimination.

 

On the other hand, most employers would love to hire qualified older people.  We are generally honest, dependable and have a wealth of experience and knowledge.  My suggestion to you and all senior citizens is to get off the "discrimination" horse.  There are plenty of other groups willing to ride that loser to nowhere; we senior citizens should be too smart to do the same.  Instead of looking for someone to blame, look at yourself critically and make improvements where necessary.  You will find that good employers will be eager to hire you.     

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Newbie

Ok without claiming an age issue, I am 59 and in accounting. In April I was laid off, and have been actively seeking a Job. I have gotten interviews, they have gone well. Everything goes through employment agencies now, I have gotten great reviews on my interviews but NO OFFERS. I've asked all the recruiters for advice, some are young 20's and some are near my age. Soon I'll be at the point of used up all my Unemployment, then I go off the records and no longer fall into the unemployment rate. I wonder how many others are out there with me?? I am not lazy I email and scan the job sites constantly. It's not like anyone ever sees you you are a number on a page. Very Frustrating. Any suggestions...?!
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Contributor

Do not feel bad. First of all Target is a crummy company. They sell really poor quality merchandise. Besides they only hire people they can push around and use til you drop. You will find a better job with a better class of employer.
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Newbie

Cry baby....Maybe shoot a bit higher with your educational goals and you will get the job you want.  Stop blaiming your short comings on others and take responsability for yourself and the decisions you've made in your life.  NOTHING in this world is fair....

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Newbie

Yes, their is age discrimination going on for a while now. They ask for your social security number, or drivers license, or flat out your date of birth. Once they find out you are over 40 or worse over 50! your out of the hiring game. Its their loss because of our wealth of knowledge that we all have to offer.
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Newbie

Agreed . They ask in a question along with ethnicity and gender, are you over 40. Throws you out of getting into job there!!

 

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Newbie

I'm finding that a number of employers have little regard for compliance with federal and state equal employment opportunity laws.  They will stipulate a statement to the effect of:  "... does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, etc.  However, in my experience--the application data does the opposite, such as "are you over 40? date of birth, gender, social security number" (yes the SS# can become an issue), etc.

If this type of (sensitive) demographic data is needed for the purpose of EEO-Workforce statistics compliance, in terms of a presenting a balanced workforce, then this information should be separate from the job application; the employers should develop a separate data sheet in an effort to gather such demographic info. This type of demographic data has no bearing on whether applicants meet the minimum qualifications of job or position in question and therefore should not be intertwined with the application recruitment process.Laughing
Newbie

Actually twice:first in the mid 80s , I applied for a phys ed position at a middle school in Columbia,SC. I was told they generally held the positions for men because they needed high school coaches and assistants and the middle schools were their feeder schools. They did hire me for science . Our school had two men and one woman PE teacher.
The second time was with the recession, the schools had major budget issues. They decided they could release the older teachers with high salaries and replace them with inexperienced teachers with pay on the low end of the scale . A 2 for 1 deal money wise. For three years they replaced over two hundred. The superintendent stated we had out lived our usefulness . When in reality, you take that much experience out , you really suffer in all aspects of education. It will take years to recover. Eventually, the new teachers will become experienced!
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Newbie

It's not illegal to ask a question about age, any more than it's illegal to ask about marital status, plans for children, etc., but it is just plain stupid.

Because then it raises the question about whether the employer is using that information in an illegal way, and since they are stupid enough to ask, it would not be a surprise if they were. I can't believe that Target corporate either blessed or knew of that practice, and it would be worth your time to let them know what the local store is doing. And as another suggested, the EEOC. Your state attorney general office might also be interested.
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Newbie

Discrimination will continue unless We convey the teachings of God Is Love
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Newbie

Mine goes back many years! My father was denied ER Care in Cincinnati Oh. St. Marys hospital Because He was "Black;" African Amer' I was 9yrs, old: My mother had a little church Kenton, Oh. I went to two schools grade and High school (graduated) I was the only African American in each school and I was sorely discriminated through grade and high school and I have never forgotten (IT). When I entered nursing school (50yrs. RN health Care provided)  my experience , education transpired with more prejudice in the learning process and knowledge learning in caring for persons and children who needed my expertise in the health care field. Thank God He was with me all the way and I was able to do what I desired in the USA. As I continue in my chosen field and musicianship After Wilberforce University Wil. Ohio the Oldest University (African Amer.)  in the US. I will continue to prosper interelation with all of GODS "Children" where ever I am.
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Contributor

In response to the statement by pnassoc4u concerning online applications:

In order to be closer to family, and to find teaching opportunities in K12 schools, I recently relocated from Florida to New Orleans LA. With 14 years solid K12 experience and advanced academic credentials earned as recently as August 2012, I believed that interesting opportunities would exist in a post-Katrina city experiencing an "education boom" funded by multi-million dollar government funding and private investment.

What I quickly found was that ALL advertised positions required an online application, with mm/dd/yy of birth a required field. Only after providing an extensive list of other required information (including ethnicity) was I able to upload a cover letter and resume. Every application was exhaustingly long, especially the one requiring a response to three questionnaires plus a two-page essay.

Needless to say, I didn't get a single response to any of my applications. It was only during a recent conversation with someone in the Ed-Tech business in New Orleans that I learned that all online applications are pre-screened by computer, with age over 50 meaning instant disqualification. My questionnaires, essays, cover letters and resumes had never reached a human being!!

Ironically, the same schools that wouldn't hire me for a paid position are anxious to recruit me as an unpaid volunteer, tutoring their Special Education students with whom their first-time teachers have neither professional preparation nor experience.
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Contributor

Previously, I had also filled-out an application at a local Target Store, and did not even get a call for an interview at anytime. Last year before retired, I went on an interview at Knott's Berry Farm looking for some part-time or seasonal temporary work. At the interview they noticed that I had a small birthmark on my hand about the size diameter of a pencil eraser. They told me that they had strict policy of not hiring people with "tatoos". When I explained what it was, they only referred to the manager; and he would look into it, but the interview could not continue at this point. Of course, I have not heard back from any body since the interview. I probably doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I have gray hair, beard, and wear glasses right? At least I was able to retire now and not have to worry about any narrow-minded people that judge everyone on every detail.
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Newbie

It is impossible to say whether or not you were discriminated against based soley on the question. However, I would advise that you contact the Equal Employment Commission and file a claim.  It would have to be investigated to see whether all applicants were asked this question, whether or not there is a practice in place whereby applicants under the age of 40 are hired in greater number than those over 40 years of age.  The burden of proof is on you to prove that you were discriminated against, however, this inquiry should get the ball rolling. If there is a pattern of hiring under 40 years of age candidates, then your case will probably be taken by EEOC and investigated. .  Additionally, EEOC will have to determine the number of applicants applied in both age groups and compare that data.  They will also analyze the workforce to determine the age group of all employees.  This is worth looking further into. Just contact your local Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and get started.
lIn Response to Was I discriminated against?:
Looking for some imentnput. I recently had an interview at a local Target store. I remember the on-line application asked if I "was over 40." I am wondering appif this is legal. When I exited the store, I didn't see *anyone* who even remotely looked like me-everyone seemed to be early 20s. Has anyone here had experience with interviewing at Target? I thought my interview went well-this was for a credit greeter and cashier position, both of which I have extensive experience. Many thanks for any answers/direction you may be able to provide me. I am new to the AARP Forums and hope to help someone else out.
Posted by DrumCloudGirl

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Gold Conversationalist

I question if a big corporation like Target would have an illegal question on their job application. Those forms are all standardized and authored by lawyers and HR  professionals.  What is the status of your application?  Did they tell you they were not going to hire you or is the application "awaiting review"?
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In Response to Was I discriminated against?:
Looking for some input. I recently had an interview at a local Target store. I remember the on-line application asked if I "was over 40." I am wondering if this is legal. When I exited the store, I didn't see *anyone* who even remotely looked like me-everyone seemed to be early 20s. Has anyone here had experience with interviewing at Target? I thought my interview went well-this was for a credit greeter and cashier position, both of which I have extensive experience. Many thanks for any answers/direction you may be able to provide me. I am new to the AARP Forums and hope to help someone else out.
Posted by DrumCloudGirl


Yes. You were definitely discriminated against. Target is a very discriminatory company. They discriminate against age, race, and gender. I would never shop at a Target store. you should consider filing a claim against them. Best of success to you.
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Newbie

Sorry I never interviewed at Target but I did have many interviews in advertising.  I worked 20 years and could not get a position.  Everyone who interviewed me was under 30.  I know it is age dicrimination because I had every skill needed for the positions.

I believe there should be a quota systen for companies where they have to have a percentage of over 50 employees.  This system worked well with minorities and should be applied for seniors.  Companies need a blend of ages not just younger employees.
Newbie

On line applications remove the human element from the process.  As a result, selecting a "qualified Candidate" becomes the luck of the draw.  I would bet that each question and answer is weighted.  Once the applicant "passes", the applicant is ok'd.  At this point HR or the store mnager interviews and places the applicant.   While a host of large corporations have embraced this method, it has legal consequences.  
On an application to Macy's, the question appeared, "what is your ethnicity?" .  It said I did not have to answer, but the online program would not allow me to proceed with the application.  I questiond HR, but did not receive an adequate answer.  She suggested that:  1.  it was to meet federal hiring guidlines - legal issue.  2.  Just select an answer.  I became an native American Indian.  
Federal laws seem to contradict - You can not ask this, but you must to comply with federal regulations.
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Newbie

They ask the questions on ethnicity, gender and age saying it is within government rules. But I think the minute you say yes over 40 you get kicked out of their system. Not a question that you can skip either.

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Newbie

I was employeed by a company through a temp to hire agency but after just a few weeks the said and I quote "we do not have time to train you".  The reason they said that is I am 62 years old with experience in the field.  They were hiring younger employees and keeping them even when they had no experience.  The did not want to invest time and money into me because I could retire when I am 66 and to be truthful that is not true.  Secondly I was not being trained because I was actually doing the job with a trainer or mentor.  Yes, age decrimination is live and well.  For you that are younger you maynot see this as a problem but remember you will hopefully get to my age and beyond and face the same issue from younger hiring managers.

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Periodic Contributor

I'm 59, laid off, and facing the same thing trying to get a job. From a busniness stand point it makes since to hire younger. A forty year old can be hired for the same pay as me and has a less chance of having medical issues.I'm going to start something i can do on my own.I think i'll be much happier.

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Newbie

They ask the questions on ethnicity, gender and age saying it is within government rules. But I think the minute you say yes over 40 you get kicked out of their system. Not a question that you can skip either.

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Regular Contributor

Yes.  In the late 70's I was told point blank by school principals and/or HR interviewers that they were sorry they could not hire me because they needed to place more minorities in the system to satisfy federal anti-discrimination policies against blacks.

Yes, again, when I moved to a new city and was in my early 50's, I couldn't seem to get hired as a teacher.  FInally I asked a principal to tell me honestly (without repercussions from me) why she thought I was not being hired.  She readily replied that 90% of her staff was composed of young females under 30 and she had to give preference to a teacher who would "fit in" with that group more readily.  Another principal told me that my experience would require more in salary and if she continued to hire "under 30's" she could easily hire one or more additional faculty members. My former designation as a District Teacher of the Year did nothing to raise me out of the restricted age category.

 

 

 

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Periodic Contributor

When you reach the age of 50, prepare for the discrimination to begin. While you may have the credentials for the job and your physically able, you will alway lose out to a younger applicant. Be prepared for "there are quite a few applicants for this job" or "your credentials are impressive but...". The shame of it is that both large and small companies look at you the same. For them, we are a liability and not an asset no matter what we bring to the table. It's a humiliating experience that wears you down over time. There is no level playing field out there for people over 50 as much I would hope otherwise. Discrimination is easy to hide with the right words placed delicately in a rejection email.
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In Response to Re: Was I discriminated against?:
You, like me, found out that what is legal and what we can do about it are two different things.  As a potential employee, you really cannot tell an employer that the question that have just asked is illegal if you hope to get a job. Of course, you would likely prefer NOT to work for such an employer, but sometimes a job with a firm you are disappointed in is better than no job.

What is the point of laws if there is no real barrier to breaking them? Those of us over 50 need better protection from unscrupulous employers.
Retired Moderator

At this time of year, there is rampant employment discrimination going on!
If you are overweight, male, and wear a long white beard, you can get hired in a minute!!

Kiss
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Contributor

I was discriminated because of age but it is very difficult to provide with no protections.  You are offered a meager severance as a gag order.  

 

January 10,2018.  I went to work and was told I am terminated with no reason after 7 years of service. I am now 65 years old who is physically fit with over 300 hours of sick time never used.  

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Newbie

Just to add to your list of discrimination points, "Smoking", if they find out if your a smoker, that will take you immediately out of the hiring lists. I use to be in Management and Administration said they did not want any one who smokes to be hired. FYI
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