Raytheon discriminates against older job applicants, AARP alleges

Raytheon discriminates against older job applicants, AARP alleges
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Raytheon discriminates against older job applicants, AARP alleges  CBS News

Raytheon discriminates against older job applicants, AARP alleges

Raytheon Faces Lawsuit Alleging Age Discrimination in Hiring

A new proposed class-action lawsuit alleges that defense contractor Raytheon has systematically discriminated against older workers by phrasing job listings in a way that effectively excludes candidates over the age of 40 or discourages them from applying. The lawsuit, filed by the AARP Foundation, claims that Raytheon has violated federal and state laws protecting against age discrimination in hiring. The AARP emphasizes that such discriminatory practices are unlawful and aims to bring attention to the issue.

Violation of Age Discrimination Laws

The AARP Foundation alleges that Raytheon’s requirement for recent college graduates intentionally excludes older workers from qualifying for many jobs at the company. The suit also claims that Raytheon routinely publishes job postings indicating a preference for younger workers and discrimination against older workers, discouraging them from applying. The AARP Foundation filed the lawsuit in Massachusetts district court to challenge these discriminatory practices.

In response to the allegations, Raytheon stated that it complies with all relevant age discrimination laws and is committed to maintaining a diverse workforce. The company believes the claims are without merit and will actively defend its hiring practices.

Common Practice in Various Industries

The lead plaintiff in the case, Mark Goldstein, 67, had previously filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2021, which found that Raytheon’s hiring practices violated the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Goldstein’s attorneys accuse the company of continuing to reject and discourage older job applicants based solely on their age. Peter Romer-Friedman, an attorney for the plaintiff, stated that this discriminatory practice is prevalent in many industries.

Phrases Excluding Older Workers

The lawsuit highlights that many Raytheon job ads include phrases such as “recent college graduate” or “new graduate,” effectively excluding older workers. The company’s career site and other job boards often require applicants to have less than one or two years of experience, further limiting opportunities for older candidates. The complaint argues that these requirements screen out the majority of qualified older workers based solely on their year of college graduation.

Seeking Policy Change and Compensation

The plaintiffs are seeking a change in Raytheon’s hiring policy to eliminate age discrimination. They also seek compensation for individuals who were denied jobs or discouraged from applying due to their age. The positions Goldstein applied for ranged in pay from $53,000 to $103,000 per year. The plaintiffs argue that even lower-paying roles should not disqualify older applicants from consideration.

Challenging Stereotypes and Negative Assumptions

Age discrimination against older workers often stems from stereotypes suggesting they are not technologically savvy, slower learners, or close to retirement. William Alvarado Rivera, senior vice president for litigation at AARP Foundation, emphasized that negative assumptions about aging are unfair and discriminatory. He stated that individuals should have the opportunity to decide for themselves whether a job is suitable, rather than being excluded based on age.

Source: cbsnews.com


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