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Age discrimination before applying for a job?

Pounding the pavement to seek employment with a resume in hand has become passé at best. Today, job searches start with the click of a mouse or a swipe on a smart phone screen.

Older people still catching up with technology may struggle at first. Eventually, with or without help, they find websites that post jobs. Yet, many features of those sites seem to exclude people of a certain advanced age.

Those exclusions have caught the attention of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. A 70-year-old man contacted her office, complaining he was unable to use a resume building tool. The drop-down menu to select the year he graduated and got his first job only went back to 1980, excluding not only him, but also anyone over 52.

Doing her due diligence, she contacted prominent sites such as Monster.com, Ladders Inc., Beyond.com, Indeed.com, CareerBuilder and Vault. While they provided features that were less restrictive, purporteldy access limits still existed for older people.

Apparently, some of those sites excluded people over 82. Regardless, Madigan still sees it as an act of discrimination. She believes that anyone who draws breath, wants to work and is able to perform the tasks of a job should search and provide information without restrictions based on age.

In response to her missive, job search sites claimed that the date limit was inadvertent and took steps to correct it. Yet, Madigan still wants to see the companies' internal documents to determine if the oversight was deliberate or accidental.

Some of those online job search destinations claim that they make special efforts to assist and advise older job hunters. AARP has even stepped up to help senior looking to continue careers or secure part-time work.

RetirementJobs.com actually goes as far as certifying employers as "age friendly" following an investigation of their company's practices and culture. The company even allows older members to post "Yelp-style" comments with many showing employers hiding behind the "recent graduate" qualification.

Results continue to be mixed at best.

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