A job seeker ponders the course of action after a personal experience: “After a terrific interview, I was rejected for a job that I was eminently qualified for due to my age. My recruiter made it clear to me that the information she was telling me was confidential and that she would not publicly repeat it. By not filing charges aren’t employers being given the green light to break the law?”
Filing charges is a very difficult road to take and perhaps that is what such companies rely on when engaging in discriminatory behavior. The recruiter jeopardized her position by opening up to this candidate. She apparently did not like the information she heard from the company representative, but wanted the candidate to know that he did nothing to cause the rejection. Many job applicants wrack their brains over what they did to cause them to not get the job. This recruiter risked her position to save the candidate from that anguish. The candidate’s energy is better spent convincing the recruiter to sell him to the company, promoting the advantages of hiring someone of his experience and caliber.
People who want to discriminate will find ways around it. When companies make a habit of it, such as interviewing numerous qualified candidates over 40 and hiring all candidates in their 20s and early 30s, it becomes obvious and easier to prove. What makes that road difficult for the candidate in this instance is having the burden of proving it. It would not serve this candidate well to turn on the recruiter, forcing her to tell the truth to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Document the experience, file it away, keep interviewing and see what else develops. The message is not that you are giving companies the green light to break the law, but that you are weighing factors before waging war. Your immediate goal is to get a job.