ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
A lot of people looking for work start with a website that posts job listings. A lot of those websites, though, exclude older adults who are looking for jobs. And now the Illinois attorney general is investigating.
NPR's Ina Jaffe, who covers aging, has this report.
INA JAFFE, BYLINE: This issue came to the attention of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan the way many do.
LISA MADIGAN: Somebody called us and complained.
JAFFE: The man was in his 70s. He was using the resume-building service on a well-known job site. The problem was the dropdown menu that required you to pick the year when you got to your first job or graduated from high school. It didn't have dates to click for anyone over 52.
Madigan found other sites excluded people over 82, but she says that's still discrimination and that the site should be changed so that...
MADIGAN: Anybody who's alive and wants to look for a job would be able to and be able to put in accurate information.
JAFFE: A couple of the sites have already made changes, but Madigan also wants to see the company's internal documents to see if the exclusions were deliberate or inadvertent.
MADIGAN: Our goal is to fix the problem. Our goal is not to file a lawsuit.
JAFFE: Meanwhile, a site called retirementjobs.com is trying to fix the problem in another way. Tim Driver, the founder and CEO, says his site designates some employers as age-friendly after his staff investigates their practices and culture.
TIM DRIVER: There's over a hundred big American employers now that have gone through the program. You can think of Fidelity or Wells Fargo, even government organizations like the TSA or the Veterans Administration.
JAFFE: But job seekers don't have to take Driver's word for it. Retirementjobs.com is the only site for older workers that lets members post comments describing their experiences, kind of like Yelp for job hunters.
DRIVER: We wanted to know, are these companies truly walking the talk?
JAFFE: Well, not always. There are dozens of comments about companies that push out older workers or exclude older job hunters in favor of, quote, "recent graduates." On the other hand, there are also plenty of five-star reviews, most brimming with gratitude for companies that treat older workers with respect and don't hold their longer experience against them.
Ina Jaffe, NPR News.
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