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March 2, 2017

MADIGAN PROBES NATIONAL JOB SEARCH SITES OVER POTENTIAL AGE DISCRIMINATION

Attorney General Madigan Calls on Career Search Sites to Explain Potential Age Discrimination Violations Against Older Job Seekers

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today sent letters to six national career and job search companies over potential age discrimination violations in setting age requirements for job seekers searching career opportunities. Madigan’s letters warned that older users of certain websites and apps are prohibited from accessing important functions because of their age, potentially violating the Illinois Human Rights Act and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Madigan sent letters to Beyond.com, CareerBuilder, Indeed Inc., Ladders Inc., Monster Worldwide Inc. and Vault, requesting information about the companies’ practices that appear to prevent older people from creating accurate resumes and profiles when searching for new careers and submitting their information to potential employers. While the sites require job seekers to input dates of previous work experience and education, they only allow those born after a certain set of years to do so, excluding many older job seekers. Madigan cautioned that these companies discriminate against job seekers who are working much later in life, discouraging many workers from attempting to re-enter or remain in the job marketplace.

“Today’s workforce includes many people working in their 70s and 80s,” Madigan said. “Barring older people from commonly used job search sites because of their age is discriminatory and negatively impacts our economy.”

Madigan’s office found that when people attempt to build a profile or a resume on these career search sites, the companies’ drop-down menus only allow people of certain age groups to enter their dates of previous work experience and education. In one example, a company provided 1980 as the earliest possible choice for users’ education or previous employment start dates, barring anyone who is older than 52 from full use of the company’s services. Other sites used dates ranging from 1950 to 1970 as cutoffs. As a result, older users may not be able to complete accurate profiles to apply for available positions.

Madigan’s Civil Rights Bureau is currently examining these practices. The Civil Rights Bureau enforces state and federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination in Illinois and advocates for legislation to strengthen the laws.

Bureau Chief Karyn Bass Ehler and Assistant Attorney General Jeff VanDam are handling the investigation for Madigan’s Civil Rights Bureau.

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