May a company refuse to consider hiring a job applicant based solely upon age? RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. thinks so, and has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to condone such behavior in a dispute involving a 49 year-old job applicant it rejected in 2007.
Richard Villareal applied for a sales manager job with Reynolds in 2007. At that time, Reynolds had retained a subcontractor to review all job applications. Reynolds' subcontractor discarded Villareal's resume solely because he was older than 35. It also discarded the applications of almost 20,000 other older applicants based on their age. Of the roughly 1,000 sales managers the tobacco company hired between 2007 and 2010, only a dozen or so were over the age of 40. After a whistleblower emerged in 2010, Villarreal sued.
The U.S. Supreme Court has granted cert and will soon hear the case. Employment attorneys around the country are watching.
If you believe you have been denied employment based solely on your age, contact experienced counsel to discuss your rights. In the meantime, check back with kevinburkeattorney.com for updates on the Villareal matter.