Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects applicants from discrimination in hiring. Protection is granted on the basis of the applicant’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), and national origin.
Religious discrimination includes an employer failing to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious practices if the accommodation does not create an undue hardship for the employer.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects jobseekers who are 40 years of age — or older — from age discrimination in hiring. However, it is not illegal for an employer to favor an older job applicant over a younger one, even if both workers are age 40 or older. The law also forbids harassment because of age — for example, offensive remarks or repeated jokes about a person’s age.
The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including state and local government entities.
Relevance to Jobseekers:
• The ADEA generally makes it unlawful to include age preferences, limitations, or specifications in job notices or ads. A job notice or ad may specify an age limit only in the rare circumstances where age is shown to be a “bona fide occupational qualification” (BFOQ) — for example, airline pilots must retire at age 65 in the U.S.
• In general, you should not be asked your date of birth or age on an application or in an interview, although the ADEA does not specifically prohibit this. However, you may file a complaint if you feel you were discriminated against because of your age, and the request for age information will be “closely scrutinized to makes sure that the inquiry was made for a lawful purpose, rather than for a purpose prohibited by the ADEA.”