Is it legal for companies to ask what year you graduated OR a birthdate

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (29)

Wes Mantooth in Silver Spring, Maryland

60 months ago

catlover in Corpus Christi, Texas said: I just know the reason they ask what year you graduated is to figure out your age AND I had one yesterday that I was filling out on line with a school district asked for my birthdate saying it was required for a background check.

When you fill these out online, they are required fields so if you don't want to give that info., tough luck.

But is this legal?? It doesn't seem legal.

Why in the sam hill WOULDN'T it be legal? Is it illegal to ask for your full name? Your address? Your educational background?

It's illegal to discriminate based on age, not to ask for date of birth. I think that's where the confusion is. But good luck trying to prove you didn't get hired solely because of your age.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (51) Reply - Report abuse

catlover in Corpus Christi, Texas

60 months ago

Wes Mantooth in Silver Spring, Maryland said: Why in the sam hill WOULDN'T it be legal? Is it illegal to ask for your full name? Your address? Your educational background?

It's illegal to discriminate based on age, not to ask for date of birth. I think that's where the confusion is. But good luck trying to prove you didn't get hired solely because of your age.

ok, you don't get it. what does asking for your name and educational background have to do with age discrimination. My point is that is how they find out exactly how old you are before even meeting you and interviewing.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (31) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

John in Catonsville, Maryland

60 months ago

Actually, it has been well documented during this depression that employers DO, indeed discriminate against the older worker. And, it is illegal.
jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewsnetworking/a/illegalinterv.htm

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (27) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

ANON in Roswell, Georgia

59 months ago

Hopefully - with the countless discriminatory practices being brought to light with online applications (age, credit check, disability, race, employment status)- laws are being initiated and instituted in at least 5 states as of 2011.

The enforcement of said laws cannot and will not be enforced unless companies who practice these types screening and confidential information collections are exposed.

You know the surveys and agreements to divulge your personal information for the purposes of a background check? They do NOT need this and it is illegal to ASK for this as a condition of application consideration until you have been INTERVIEWED in the states that prohibit such information gathering.

The companies who deal with health related services and expect employees to adhere to strict HIPPA laws are the same companies who have NO PROBLEM requiring your personal information PRE INTERVIEW - such as online pre employment surveys & background check and credit check information. If you provide this information, there is NO promise in place to protect your personal information is not sent to the hiring company. There is NO offer of protection of your information. The information they collect can be held onto indefinitely. Information protection is only as good as the company hired to guard your personal information. Identity theft is a serious problem and medical related companies should REALIZE they are not exempt from HIPPA regulations and EEOE hiring practices simply because a law is not yet in place to protect the prospective employee.

Take screenshots and forward them to the HR with a CC to your lawyer. Report any company that asks for birthday - even if under the cover of BACKGROUND check by another party when completing your online application. Asking for SS # and employee hiring "surveys" that target potentially discriminatory information should be brought to the EEOE dept. Contact your legislators as well.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (12) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

catlover in Texarkana, Texas

59 months ago

ANON in Roswell, Georgia said: Hopefully - with the countless discriminatory practices being brought to light with online applications (age, credit check, disability, race, employment status)- laws are being initiated and instituted in at least 5 states as of 2011.

The enforcement of said laws cannot and will not be enforced unless companies who practice these types screening and confidential information collections are exposed.

You know the surveys and agreements to divulge your personal information for the purposes of a background check? They do NOT need this and it is illegal to ASK for this as a condition of application consideration until you have been INTERVIEWED in the states that prohibit such information gathering.

The companies who deal with health related services and expect employees to adhere to strict HIPPA laws are the same companies who have NO PROBLEM requiring your personal information PRE INTERVIEW - such as online pre employment surveys & background check and credit check information. If you provide this information, there is NO promise in place to protect your personal information is not sent to the hiring company. There is NO offer of protection of your information. The information they collect can be held onto indefinitely. Information protection is only as good as the company hired to guard your personal information. Identity theft is a serious problem and medical related companies should REALIZE they are not exempt from HIPPA regulations and EEOE hiring practices simply because a law is not yet in place to protect the prospective employee.

Take screenshots and forward them to the HR with a CC to your lawyer. Report any company that asks for birthday - even if under the cover of BACKGROUND check by another party when completing your online application. Asking for SS # and employee hiring "surveys" that target potentially discriminatory information should be brought to the EEOE dept. Contact your legislators as well.[/QUOTE

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No Reply - Report abuse

catlover in Texarkana, Texas

59 months ago

what are those 5 states??

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Bluetea in Texas

59 months ago

It is legal. What is illegal is making a hiring decision based on that information.

The dilemma is proving it. Drunk driving is illegal but only if you are caught.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (14) Reply - Report abuse

Dandy in Dallas, Texas

37 months ago

Wes Mantooth in Silver Spring, Maryland said: Why in the sam hill WOULDN'T it be legal? Is it illegal to ask for your full name? Your address? Your educational background?

It's illegal to discriminate based on age, not to ask for date of birth. I think that's where the confusion is. But good luck trying to prove you didn't get hired solely because of your age.

It's like asking what RACE you are or what your RELIGION is. Why would they need to know that? Age discrimination is VERY REAL. They shouldn't be allowed to even ask the age. If it didn't matter.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (10) / No Reply - Report abuse

Dandy in Dallas, Texas

37 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: It is legal . What is illegal is making a hiring decision based on that information.

The dilemma is proving it. Drunk driving is illegal but only if you are caught.

How would anyone know if they didn't the the person because of their age. They sure as heck wouldn't admit that now would they? It's like not admitting going someone because they are black or a women or what have you.

Do you guys really trust that these folks won't lie? Or that they won't consider age on an application? Really?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No Reply - Report abuse

Dandy in Dallas, Texas

37 months ago

Wes Mantooth in Silver Spring, Maryland said: no YOU don't get it. why would knowing how old you are be illegal? you're assuming that everyone discriminates based on age.

Why would a person need to even ask how old a person was if it didn't matter? That doesn't make sense now does it?

If something doesn't matter, why even ask it? And make it required on applications. I've filled out applications where you can't skip that. I'm thinking about running for congress just to introduce a bill to make that illegal.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (12) / No Reply - Report abuse

barbr1117 in Garner, North Carolina

35 months ago

Wes Mantooth in Silver Spring, Maryland said: no YOU don't get it. why would knowing how old you are be illegal? you're assuming that everyone discriminates based on age.

Ok maybe it is not age discrimination so and I am sure that I will never be able to prove this but I have filled out 53 not exagerating with an organization( different branches) All ask for birthday date, month year. I am well educated never got fired, nothing on my background, model citizen I have not had ONE interview. Ummm wonder why?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (10) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

barbr1117 in Garner, North Carolina

35 months ago

Dandy in Dallas, Texas said: Why would a person need to even ask how old a person was if it didn't matter? That doesn't make sense now does it?

If something doesn't matter, why even ask it? And make it required on applications. I've filled out applications where you can't skip that. I'm thinking about running for congress just to introduce a bill to make that illegal.

I want to at least introduce it as a prospective bill, because really it opens the door to allow those who would have second thoughts on hiring because they think that a person is too old.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No Reply - Report abuse

Bluetea in Texas

35 months ago

barbr1117 in Garner, North Carolina said: Ok maybe it is not age discrimination so and I am sure that I will never be able to prove this but I have filled out 53 not exagerating with an organization( different branches) All ask for birthday date, month year. I am well educated never got fired, nothing on my background, model citizen I have not had ONE interview. Ummm wonder why?

Hooters never called you back? Me neither.

It is age discrimination but you'll never prove it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

barbr1117 in Garner, North Carolina

35 months ago

catlover in Texarkana, Texas said:

What are those states? Not only do I think that there is age discrimination in my state, I am convinced that I have not had an interview by this organization because of my race. 53 applications not one interview and not even the courtesy of saying that the job has been filled by most of them. Matter of fact only 5 told me that the job had been filled. All of the others did not even give a response. I have a record of all the application.Fortunately from me they have a tracking system in place where I can see if they have filled or the status of my application. I don't want ANY HANDOUTS. I just want to be treated fairly where I am given the opportunity to at least interview for the position (fairly interviewed).

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No Reply - Report abuse

JMW in Hightstown, New Jersey

28 months ago

Actually, it is not illegal to ask for graduation dates on an application. If you really want to "figure out" the person's age, you can just check the birth date on the application.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (6) Reply - Report abuse

EndlessJoy in Atlanta, Georgia

28 months ago

Some companies are stating that they use this information to see if they will be eligible for certain tax credits. So they ask for the sensitive information you have stated plus how long you've been unemployed and whether you are receiving federal assistance, like food stamps, etc.

Oh and also to do a background check if you are being considered.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Toni in Vincentown, New Jersey

28 months ago

Age/date of birth: Generally, age is considered not to be relevant in most hiring decisions, and therefore, date of birth questions are improper. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects employees 40 years old and above. It is permissible to ask an applicant to state his or her age if it is less than 18. Internal uses of date of birth for computations with respect to a pension or profit-sharing plan, this information can be obtained after the person is hired.

Never give your ss# on an application unless you are for sure one of the people they are interested in hiring. Advise the employer that you will be happy to supply this information, if being presented with a job offer.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No Reply - Report abuse

kreese51@msn.com and tbd in West Palm Beach, Florida

13 months ago

A company is not allowed to ask your date of birth or age on an application or year you graduated from college. They use this to calculate your age. If you are 55 and over companies are not really interested in investing in you for many reason. High cost of paying your health benefits. The older the More expensive. Some health insurance charge the employer up to $800.00 and up per employee over 55 years old, healthy or not. If you were laid off and 58- 60 years old kiss your career good by. Headhunters and HR key words for not hiring 55 and up EVEN if your qualified.

1. Over qualified
2. Position was placed on hold.
3. Don't speak Spanish ( when not listed as a qualification on the posting)
4. You live to far (45 min drive )
5. Reporting director is younger,less experienced and insecure.

You would think that a company would be interested in hiring someone experienced willing to work for a lower wage.

Companies today to not value their employees or how to treat them. Companies are driven by greed.

Companies cannot ask you for a credit back ground check based on that to hire you for a position this was put into law by Obama in his first term.

You do not or should give out your social security number on a online application .

Once a tenative offer is given a company cc an request in writing by hard copy, to do a reference, criminal and school back ground check.

Credit check is not necessary unless you handle money. Due yo many people unemployed losing their homes and having credit card debts, can't find a job.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No Reply - Report abuse

nunya_business in Indianpolis, Indiana

10 months ago

I was released after a merger. At 58. Now after two interviews going very well until they ask what yr i graduated , this 59 yr old is taking another approach. I'm lying about my grad yr and age if they ask, until after i get hired and have to give HR my two forms of ID for the I-9. Then they can fire me for lying but at least I got hired for a minute. I accept that I'm not getting hired for real now, so I'll just forget about my $150K Director/VP career and just fix motorcycles. I'm lucky...I can afford it. I feel bad about my country for the situation its put it's lower socio-economic group of 50+ into.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No Reply - Report abuse

I want to be a good worker in Connecticut

10 months ago

I never understood why people get so worked up over companies asking for age. Sooner or later, they're going to find out your age whether you like it or not. Even if you don't give your birth date or year of graduation on your application, they'll be able to get a rough idea of your age when they see the dates from your previous jobs(for example, if your work experience section indicates you started your first job in 1977, they'll know you're not a spring chicken).

Also, if you are selected for an interview, the employer will get a rough idea of your age when he/she sees you in person. Plus it is customary to ask for basic information like birthday and social security number so the employer can do a background check on you.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (8) Reply - Report abuse

nunya_business in Indianpolis, Indiana

10 months ago

I want to be a good worker in Connecticut said: I never understood why people get so worked up over companies asking for age....

Not really the sensitive type, huh? Lose your job at 58, then have great interviews end super quick after they ask your grad date, then realize no matter how good you are at what you do its now walmart greeter or nothing until you're 66 and get free medical. Btw, medical is 3-500/month between now and then.

after 52, you're not getting hired for a higher paying job. Thats a pretty good reason to get worked up about age.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No Reply - Report abuse

Ruby Slippers in Las Vegas, Nevada

10 months ago

nunya_business in Indianpolis, Indiana said: Not really the sensitive type, huh? Lose your job at 58, then have great interviews end super quick after they ask your grad date, then realize no matter how good you are at what you do its now walmart greeter or nothing until you're 66 and get free medical. Btw, medical is 3-500/month between now and then.

after 52, you're not getting hired for a higher paying job. Thats a pretty good reason to get worked up about age.

I can see the look of disappointment on their faces the moment I enter the room for the interview.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

I want to be a good worker in Connecticut

10 months ago

nunya_business in Indianpolis, Indiana said: Not really the sensitive type, huh? Lose your job at 58, then have great interviews end super quick after they ask your grad date, then realize no matter how good you are at what you do its now walmart greeter or nothing until you're 66 and get free medical. Btw, medical is 3-500/month between now and then.

after 52, you're not getting hired for a higher paying job. Thats a pretty good reason to get worked up about age.

But here's the thing...you most likely would have been turned down for the job even if they didn't ask your year of graduation. When you go to the interview, the interviewer can get a ballpark estimate of your age just by looking at you. My point is they'll be able to figure out your age even if you don't give your birthday or year of graduation.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

nunya_business in Indianpolis, Indiana

10 months ago

I want to be a good worker in Connecticut said: But here's the thing...you most likely would have been turned down for the job even if they didn't ask your year of graduation. When you go to the interview, the interviewer can get a ballpark estimate of your age just by looking at you. My point is they'll be able to figure out your age even if you don't give your birthday or year of graduation.

that is true, for most cases.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Ruby Slippers in Las Vegas, Nevada

10 months ago

I want to be a good worker in Connecticut said: But here's the thing...you most likely would have been turned down for the job even if they didn't ask your year of graduation. When you go to the interview, the interviewer can get a ballpark estimate of your age just by looking at you. My point is they'll be able to figure out your age even if you don't give your birthday or year of graduation.

Its one reason why the interview itself hasn't gone "online". They want to see you to make the final decision.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

myneujob in Austin, Texas

2 months ago

catlover in Corpus Christi, Texas said: ok, you don't get it. what does asking for your name and educational background have to do with age discrimination. My point is that is how they find out exactly how old you are before even meeting you and interviewing.

I believe that employers should be prohibited from asking date of birth. It is clearly used to discriminate and prevents diversity in the workplace. I also think that older workers should be afforded the same status as minorities in that a certain percentage of the workforce i.e.. new hires should be older workers. So what do you think about that?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

myneujob in Austin, Texas

2 months ago

nunya_business in Indianpolis, Indiana said: that is true, for most cases.

Maybe, but at least you had the benefit of an interview.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

myneujob in Austin, Texas

2 months ago

Dandy in Dallas, Texas said: Why would a person need to even ask how old a person was if it didn't matter? That doesn't make sense now does it?

If something doesn't matter, why even ask it? And make it required on applications. I've filled out applications where you can't skip that. I'm thinking about running for congress just to introduce a bill to make that illegal.

I agree. Why even ask if it's not an issue.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Ruby Slippers in Las Vegas, Nevada

1 month ago

myneujob in Austin, Texas said: I agree. Why even ask if it's not an issue.

Maybe because it really is an issue.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.