Can a company require you to answer your age on an application?

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Can a company require you to answer your age on an application?

I’ve tried applying to a company and they ask for my date of birth directly on the application and won’t let me proceed unless it’s answered.

Asked on November 13, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is not illegal, though it can be unwise. The law does not make it illegal to ask about an employee's age or know his/her age; it makes it illegal to discriminate against someone age 40 or older because of their age. As long as there is no discrimination, age-related questions are legal; but they are unwise because if someone 40 or older is asked about their age, then denied a job, he or she may bring a legal claim alleging that the denial was age-based. It is safer and smarter for the employer to not inquire into age, since that makes showing age discrimination more difficult.


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