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Age discrimination: Can employment ads show age restrictions?

It is not uncommon for workers in Texas to experience discrimination of some kind during their years of employment. It is concerning that people above the age of 40 -- who may be the most experienced -- are often overlooked when appointments are made. Fortunately, there are remedies for age discrimination. Under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) and the Texas Labor Code, discrimination against individuals who are 40 years of age and older is forbidden. This applies to all governmental entities -- state and local -- regardless of employment levels; private companies that have more than 14 employees are also governed by these laws.

Further restrictions under the mentioned laws include those related to the advertising of job vacancies. Advertisements and notices to invite applications for positions may not include age limitations or requirements. However, certain positions may be advertised with age requirements when such requirements can be justified. For example, applicants for bartending jobs cannot be too young because they will not be allowed to serve alcohol, and those applying for positions with the police and fire department may have to be young and agile enough to effectively perform the required duties.

Employers must be mindful during pre-employment conversations or interviews. Although they are not prohibited to ask about an applicant's age or birth date, such questions may cause suspicion of potential discrimination in the ultimate appointment. Once a person has been appointed, his or her age may be obtained for legal purposes.

Job applicants in Texas who believe that age discrimination played a part in them not securing employment may take legal action. Although the process may seem overwhelming to some, there are experienced attorneys who focus on protecting the rights of employees. Such professionals will likely investigate whether the age restrictions on advertisements or requests for birth dates during interviews were based on lawful purposes or with the intention to discriminate.

Source: twc.state.tx.us, "Age Discrimination", Accessed on July 7, 2015

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