Technology is becoming increasingly important for many California companies, and they often have difficulty finding employees with the necessary IT skills. When this kind of job opening is advertised, the response can sometimes be overwhelming. While some employers accept this challenge and systematically work through all of the applications they receive, others may attempt to reduce their workload by using carefully worded ads that are designed to put off unsuitable applicants.

Some companies seek tech-savvy applicants by using terms like ‘digital native” in their recruitment efforts. They so this to find candidates that have grown up with computers and are comfortable using them, but this kind of wording may run afoul of federal and state workplace discrimination laws. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act both consider a candidate over the age of 40 to be an older worker, and any help wanted advertising designed to dissuade them from applying would violate these laws.

Employers wishing to remain on the right side of discrimination laws may wish to avoid calls for digital natives or recent college graduates. Sweeping statements like this may be considered discriminatory even when they only imply indirectly that a protected class will not be considered. Employers may avoid discrimination claims by seeking those with particular skills rather than a predefined ideal employee.

Finding a job is rarely a simple task, and it can be made even more challenging when applicants are denied opportunities because of their age, gender, religious beliefs or race. Those who have suffered discrimination while searching for employment may pursue legal remedies, and an attorney with experience in this area could explain the protections against workplace discrimination provided by state and federal laws as well as the steps involved in pursuing a claim.