Staffing Agency Sued for Age Bias

The staffing agency told an applicant that he would not be considered for a position because “he was born in 1945” and “age will matter,” the EEOC says.

Diverse Lynx, a Princeton, New Jersey-based IT staffing firm, violated federal law when it failed to refer a job applicant because of his age, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that after Diverse Lynx learned of the applicant’s date of birth, the company sent the applicant an email stating that he would no longer be considered for the position because, according to the email, he was “born in 1945” and “age will matter.”

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employment discrimination based on age, including discrimination in referrals by employment agencies. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (EEOC v. Diverse Lynx, Civil Action No. 17-cv-03220), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

“Federal laws plainly prohibit employment agencies and staffing firms from engaging in age discrimination,” says Kevin Berry, the EEOC’s New York District director. “The firm told the man, ‘age will matter.’ Actually, the only things that matter are abilities and qualifications, and the EEOC is here to help make sure that’s the way it is in American workplaces.”