Is it legal to ask for the dates that degrees were earned or the dates that schools were attended, on a job application?

I filled out a job application for an interview at the company today and they asked for degrees and dates of attendance at schools. I put the dates down for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. The interviewer thumbed through the application and, at the end of the interview, said they didn’t have a current opening(even though one is posted on their website) and told me that a contract position may be open in a few weeks. I suspect I may be a victim of age discrimination.

Asked on July 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is legal to ask for the dates of degrees, school attendence, etc. However, it is often unwise to do so. that is because it is illegal to discriminate against job applicants age 40 and over in hiring, and asking about dates can be evidence of discrimination. If you feel, based on your qualifications and what was said or done at the interview, that the reason you were denied a job is that you are 40 or older, you should either contact your state equal/civil rights department (or the federal EEOC) and/or speak with an employment attorney to see if you may have a claim for age-related discrimination. Good luck.


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