Firm Ordered to Stop Asking Applicants Age Before Job Offer

The company had set an “ideal age range” for applicants.

Seymour Midwest, a Warsaw, Indiana, hand tool manufacturing company, will pay $100,000 and furnish other relief to resolve an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

In addition to providing monetary relief, the company has been ordered to stop collecting age information about applicants before making a job offer, train its hiring personnel, issue and post notice from its president of its commitment to federal nondiscrimination laws, and complete periodic compliance reporting.

The EEOC charged in a lawsuit that Seymour Midwest selected Steve Maril from a pool of applicants for its senior vice president of sales position, to participate in an initial, email-based interview. In addition to questions about Maril’s experience and willingness to relocate, the company asked whether Maril was within its ideal age range of 45 to 52. When Seymour Midwest learned that Maril was 58, the company refused to hire him.

“Seymour Midwest rejected an applicant older than its ‘ideal age range’ on the assumption he wouldn’t be working long enough. Making a decision based on an ageist stereotype is discrimination that will not be tolerated,” says Laurie A. Young, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office.