Wife cries foul af­ter younger worker cho­sen for post her hubby wanted

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Job Market - By Car­rie Ma­son-Draf­fen


DEAR CAR­RIE: My hus­band has more than 22 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the air­line in­dus­try.

He was pre­vi­ously em­ployed for 16 years by a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional car­rier and has been em­ployed by a U.S. air­line lo­cally for the past two years. When he joined this air­line, he ac­cepted a lower-pay­ing po­si­tion, for which he is overqual­i­fied.

He did that just to get his foot in the door so he could later pur­sue growth op­por­tu­ni­ties within the or­ga­ni­za­tion. He re­cently turned 50 and hopes to re­main in the air­line in­dus­try un­til re­tire­ment.

Re­cently, he ap­plied for a pro­mo­tion in his depart­ment af­ter com­plet­ing a train­ing pro­gram. Eight months ago he was in­vited to join the pro­gram, which is in­tended to develop po­ten­tial can­di­dates for su­per­vi­sory roles. He com­pleted the pro­gram at the top of his group.

Since com­plet­ing the pro­gram, he be­gan notic­ing that more ju­nior col­leagues were re­ceiv­ing more duty up­grades than he. Some of that could be at­trib­uted to re­quire­ments of dif­fer­ent shifts within the day. Then a per­ma­nent su­per­vi­sor po­si­tion was posted, and he ap­plied since he felt that suc­cess­fully com­plet­ing the pro­gram gave him an ad­van­tage.

De­spite my hus­band’s years of air­line op­er­a­tions ex­pe­ri­ence, the po­si­tion was awarded to a 22-yearold newly hired em­ployee, whose only pre­vi­ous work ex­pe­ri­ence was in retail sales for a na­tion­wide cloth­ing chain.

No ex­pla­na­tion or con­struc­tive crit­i­cism has been pro­vided, nor will it be, he learned. The de­ci­sion was just left as “fi­nal.”

Car­rie, while I re­al­ize my email may come from an emo­tional base, I can­not help but feel that this is a clear case of age dis­crim­i­na­tion.

My hus­band is 50 and was passed over for a 22-year-old with no pre­vi­ous air­line ex­pe­ri­ence.

Do you be­lieve this could be a valid case of age dis­crim­i­na­tion?

DEAR QUES­TION: I spoke with an of­fi­cial at the U.S. Equal Em­ploy­ment Op­por­tu­nity Com­mis­sion, the agency that en­forces anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion laws in the work­place.

He said it was too soon to tell if age dis­crim­i­na­tion played a role.

“As in most em­ploy­ment sit­u­a­tions, the in­di­vid­ual does not know all the facts and cir­cum­stances,” said Michael Ro­jas, the agency’s New York Dis­trict outreach and ed­u­ca­tion co­or­di­na­tor.

Nev­er­the­less, some­thing seems fishy, he said.

“It does seem strange that a young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced per­son is hired for a su­per­vi­sory po­si­tion, es­pe­cially in an in­dus­try where su­per­vi­sory sta­tus is ea­gerly sought af­ter and highly com­pet­i­tive — as ev­i­denced by the spe­cial train­ing pro­gram for as­pir­ing em­ploy­ees,” Ro­jas said.

So your hus­band might con­sider con­tact­ing the com­pany hu­man re­sources depart­ment for more in­for­ma­tion.

He “might con­sider mak­ing an in­quiry at hu­man re­sources about this event,” Ro­jas said. “He can de­cide whether to de­scribe it as pos­si­ble age dis­crim­i­na­tion or sim­ply ask … whether the se­lectee meets the qual­i­fi­ca­tions for su­per­vi­sor.”

If that doesn’t pan out, he may want to ex­plore fil­ing a com­plaint with the EEOC.

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