Focus on hiring recent grads creates basis for age-discrimination suit, 11th Circuit says
A seasoned 49-year-old applicant who said he did not get a response when he applied for a sales job with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in 2007 can use a disparate impact theory to sue for age discrimination, a federal appeals court has ruled.
Reversing a federal trial court judge in Georgia, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a Monday opinion (PDF) that plaintiff Richard Villarreal stated a cause of action by alleging that Reynolds hiring guidelines sought recent college graduates and urged recruiters to stay away from applicants with eight to ten years of experience.
The 2-1 ruling in the landmark case may be the first decision to OK a disparate-impact age-discrimination suit by a job applicant, according to the Daily Report (sub. req.), Reuters and the Winston-Salem Journal.