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Illinois Attorney General Notifies Job Search Sites About Possible Age Bias

The Illinois Attorney General's office recently sent letters to six job search websites requesting information due to the Attorney General's (AG's) concern that the websites could be violating state and federal laws prohibiting age discrimination. The job search websites include Career Builder, Monster, Indeed, Ladders, Beyond, and Vault. The letters accuse the job search websites of limiting users' ability to list job and education experience that is decades old.

Many of the job websites allow users to enter their resume information into the website to create a digital resume. Unfortunately, it appears that some of the websites have drop-down menus that don't allow users to scroll beyond a certain year. For instance, the AG's office took issue with Career Builder's website for not allowing users to choose a graduation date prior to 1955. According to the AG's office, this excludes individuals who are 81 years and older from enjoying Career Builder's website because such individuals likely graduated before that date.

The AG's office also took issue with websites that used similar date cutoffs for entering job experience timeframes.

Looking to distinguish inadvertent mistake from intentional discrimination, the AG's office requested documents from each job search website related to any company policies aimed at preventing users from listing work or education experience prior to a specific cutoff date.

We have a number of clients who handle their employment application process online. Some use job search websites for job postings and application submission. Others have their own online application system, often connected to the company's website. Regardless of which method employers use, prudent employers will take five minutes to ensure that their application process doesn't inadvertently exclude older individuals.

If you have any questions or concerns about this topic, please call Ryan Young of Wessels Sherman's Chicago, Illinois office at (312) 629-9300 or contact him via email at ryyoung@wesselssherman.com.

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