Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

58 yo former GC sues over in-house job ad 3-7 years (age discrimination)

https://www.chicagotribune.com/busi ness/ct-biz-age-discrimin wutwutwut12/20/18
"High likelihood of poor ability to take direction from thos scelestus12/20/18
excellent comment. sad boomer lawyer who couldn't have ret lionelhutz12/20/18
"poor ability to take direction from those less experienced onehell01/02/19
You're right about those assumptions generally being tied to soupcansham01/04/19
there is no age discrimination, and a good attorney can win dingbat12/20/18
Bingo, Dingo! wutwutwut12/20/18
Good stuff. imoothereforeim12/20/18
It might eventually get there, but the administrative proces supesnation12/21/18
..Except that disparate impact theories can be advanced in a onehell01/02/19
Snowflake needs to get a minimum wage job or put out a shing persius12/20/18
He will try to make some disparate impact bs argument or som anotherjd12/20/18
Yeah, except nobody cares about old people. imoothereforeim12/20/18
except republican politicians - they love old people (at lea dingbat12/20/18
The guy is only 58. The reason for the age discriminati persius12/20/18
"only" 58? ADEA actually puts the protected class at anyone onehell01/02/19
Whoo-Hoo! I'm in a protected class. Time to move back to A shuiz01/03/19
in the accounting field, i do things my way instead of how i kenco12/20/18
I think Lionel hutz pointed this out, but that guy should be soiled_nappies12/20/18
retire when u got a paid off home & no debts kenco12/20/18
Lol. Mid to late boomers are the worst of the bunch. superttthero12/20/18
Exactly, Hinsdale is not cheap. mtbislife01/02/19
I get his gripe, notwithstanding my post above. But reall superttthero12/20/18
As a former GC and CEO, this guy was likely in charge of hir chicagojoe12/20/18
The company is dumb for putting "no more than 7 years" in th joecoder12/21/18
Or at least “3-7 years experience preferred” to give the persius12/21/18
40+ is the threshold. There really isn't law regarding age supesnation12/21/18
The Constitution itself discriminates against the young give superttthero12/21/18
Not employment law, but there is that 18 year old guy that w persius12/21/18
Yeah. I don't think it is. Olds are in charge and olds don't superttthero12/21/18
This. dingbat12/21/18
On here, I think most of us more vividly remember (or are cu onehell01/03/19
Dbl persius12/21/18
It’s really hard to feel bad for boomers. midlaw12/21/18
18 year old guy sued Dicks under state law making age discri specv31312/21/18
Good for this guy. He should sue. I don't know of any non-le onehell01/02/19
try getting a job in IT if you're over the hill. COBOL? dingbat01/02/19
Onehells first point is very salient. I've been in non-legal williamdrayton01/02/19
Thanks for that. Yeah, I've never seen it outside of law. SH onehell01/02/19
I read an article on this exact situation and some people su batman01/02/19
Age discrimination is f-en real! I have sent my resume with demwave01/02/19
LOL at legal employers/recruiters who post a salary range an williamdrayton01/02/19
How many working male 60 yr olds do you know that arent: demwave01/04/19



wutwutwut (Dec 20, 2018 - 11:30 am)

https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-age-discrimination-lawsuit-dale-kleber-0930-story.html

"Dale Kleber, a veteran lawyer, had been unemployed and job hunting for three years when he came across a position that seemed promising, but for this part of the ad: “3 to 7 years (no more than 7 years) of relevant legal experience,” it said.

Kleber, 58 at the time, had decades of experience, including as general counsel at Dean Foods and, most recently, as CEO of a dairy products trade group. But his efforts to land a new job at that level had been unsuccessful, and he didn’t want to draw down his retirement accounts to make ends meet.

So the Hinsdale man applied ... was never called in for an interview... Kleber sued, claiming the seven-year experience cap discriminated against older applicants."



If I'm hiring a mid-level attorney, I don't want a former bigco GC even if s/he's a Doogie Howser and only 28 years old.

High likelihood of poor ability to take direction from those less experienced than they are and to want to do things the way they always have instead of the way I want them too.

I think there's as good a rationale in job adverts for experience ceilings as there is for experience floors.

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scelestus (Dec 20, 2018 - 12:38 pm)

"High likelihood of poor ability to take direction from those less experienced than they are and to want to do things the way they always have instead of the way I want them too."

Evidenced by willingness to sue over the job posting.

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lionelhutz (Dec 20, 2018 - 2:26 pm)

excellent comment. sad boomer lawyer who couldn't have retired in style at 55 after having been a GC and grovelling for a jr level job.

just another boomer who wants eternal youth, including the right to take an entry level in house job from someone probably much more suited for it.

America's worst generation strikes again.

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onehell (Jan 2, 2019 - 2:00 pm)

"poor ability to take direction from those less experienced than they are and to want to do things the way they always have."

...except those are the exact assumptions that are pretty much the textbook definition of age discrimination. It pretty much literally translates to "can't teach an old dog new tricks."

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soupcansham (Jan 4, 2019 - 11:43 am)

You're right about those assumptions generally being tied to age, but my point is that the willingness to sue alone might be enough to make those assumptions in some cases.

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dingbat (Dec 20, 2018 - 2:30 pm)

there is no age discrimination, and a good attorney can win a defense on summary judgment with the following:

"The ad specifically states 3-7 years experience, it does not specify an age range. If someone went to law school late in life and graduated at age 65 a few years ago, such a person would meet our requirements and would be granted an interview."

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wutwutwut (Dec 20, 2018 - 2:33 pm)

Bingo, Dingo!

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imoothereforeim (Dec 20, 2018 - 2:36 pm)

Good stuff.

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supesnation (Dec 21, 2018 - 10:18 am)

It might eventually get there, but the administrative process is geared toward the employee winning. This is 58, they hired a 29 year old. That will pretty much get you through probable cause in most instances. It's interesting though that this might come down to internal v/ external applicants. So far, I've only seen this applied to current employees. The company defending the suit must have a decent EPL policy for defense costs.

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onehell (Jan 2, 2019 - 1:51 pm)

..Except that disparate impact theories can be advanced in age discrimination claims. The mere fact that the policy is facially neutral is not an absolute defense. Not even a particularly good defense in a case like this, where the stereotype underlying it is so obvious.

Even though it is common in the legal world, I can tell you from lots of experience that in most other sectors, it is pretty uncommon to see "maximum experience" in the job posting for exactly this reason. I mean OK, in biglaw they can probably defend it based on the idea that once you hit a certain level of experience you should have your own book of business, but this is an in-house legal department. In-house lawyers don't bill and they only have one client, so the same rationale does not exist.

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persius (Dec 20, 2018 - 2:37 pm)

Snowflake needs to get a minimum wage job or put out a shingle and quit acting so entitled. Maybe he did and this is his first case while he gets off the ground.

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anotherjd (Dec 20, 2018 - 2:47 pm)

He will try to make some disparate impact bs argument or something.

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imoothereforeim (Dec 20, 2018 - 3:08 pm)

Yeah, except nobody cares about old people.

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dingbat (Dec 20, 2018 - 3:31 pm)

except republican politicians - they love old people (at least, in the run-up to the election)

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persius (Dec 20, 2018 - 3:40 pm)

The guy is only 58.

The reason for the age discrimination may be that they sue you for age discrimination anyway if you need to get rid of them. I don’t know how exactly how employment law works but it seems like it disincentives hiring protected classes. Even though I never practiced employment law I got a ton of older people coming to me wanting to sue for age discrimination the minute they lost their job. Maybe easier to just not hire them?

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onehell (Jan 2, 2019 - 2:01 pm)

"only" 58? ADEA actually puts the protected class at anyone over age 40. Much as we hate on boomers I think a pretty good number of folks on here are probably either already in that protected class or will be in it very soon.

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shuiz (Jan 3, 2019 - 6:50 pm)

Whoo-Hoo! I'm in a protected class. Time to move back to America!

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kenco (Dec 20, 2018 - 5:42 pm)

in the accounting field, i do things my way instead of how it was always done.

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soiled_nappies (Dec 20, 2018 - 5:46 pm)

I think Lionel hutz pointed this out, but that guy should be able to retire with his likely salary and benefits. I’m 14 years younger than him and I’ve got quite a bit socked away. Not F. You. money, but enough.

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kenco (Dec 20, 2018 - 5:48 pm)

retire when u got a paid off home & no debts

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superttthero (Dec 20, 2018 - 7:20 pm)

Lol.

Mid to late boomers are the worst of the bunch.

He didn't "not want to dip" into retirement. He likely does not have enough because his house isnt paid for, his savings are not where they should be, and he is unwilling to downsize lifestyle.

Hes an ass hat and I wish/hope in that state the company is in allows them to sue him back for costs/fees in this scenario.

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mtbislife (Jan 2, 2019 - 3:49 pm)

Exactly, Hinsdale is not cheap.

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superttthero (Dec 20, 2018 - 7:24 pm)

I get his gripe, notwithstanding my post above.

But really, could someone with his experience in any way provide sufficient assurances to a company that he wont bolt at the first chance to a gig that can compensate him at his level?

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chicagojoe (Dec 20, 2018 - 8:29 pm)

As a former GC and CEO, this guy was likely in charge of hiring people at some point in his career.

He yet believes that "Any contention that applicants are "overqualified,"...is a code word for 'too old.'"

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joecoder (Dec 21, 2018 - 6:08 am)

The company is dumb for putting "no more than 7 years" in their listing.

They're (likely) going to get a ton of applicants, many of which they toss the resume on sight (or the software filters them out) regardless of that 7 year limit.

Point being, people will still submit resumes anyway. Why put that limiting language in there?

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persius (Dec 21, 2018 - 7:44 am)

Or at least “3-7 years experience preferred” to give them some cover like every other job posting.

Probably put the limiting language because they didn’t have an experienced gc who spent years fighting off these kind of lawsuits. Who is going to hire a gc with only 3 years experience anyway? Someone with a really tight gc budget and trying to do it on the cheap? A control freak owner who wants to try and control the attorney? An owner that is a moron?

I wonder what the law is on this. In general experience requirement benefit olds. If it said “15-25 years experience required” would a newly minted jd have a similar basis for an age discrimination suit?

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supesnation (Dec 21, 2018 - 10:09 am)

40+ is the threshold. There really isn't law regarding age discrimination for young folks.

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superttthero (Dec 21, 2018 - 11:06 am)

The Constitution itself discriminates against the young given that certain public offices require you to be of a certain age.

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persius (Dec 21, 2018 - 11:15 am)

Not employment law, but there is that 18 year old guy that was in the news for suing Dicks for age discrimination because they won’t sell him a gun. I wondered how that is possible because really never heard of youngs being a protected class.

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superttthero (Dec 21, 2018 - 11:17 am)

Yeah. I don't think it is. Olds are in charge and olds don't care about the young.

Haha, even in housing, how can they have "55+" communities? Imagine if you make a community only for childless families aged 35 - 50. The olds would have aneurysms. But here, olds can easily get congress to pass any exception they want so long as it doesn't cost the gov't money.

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dingbat (Dec 21, 2018 - 11:14 am)

This.

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onehell (Jan 3, 2019 - 11:39 am)

On here, I think most of us more vividly remember (or are currently experiencing) the "can't get a job without experience, can't get experience w/o job" catch 22.

Sure, the boomers had it easier when they were young, and a lot of them are essentially grandfathered in to all kinds of better things now, whether it's pensions or real estate or just employers who are willing, out of respect for their tenure, to overpay and underwork them until they retire.

But there's a smaller number of boomers, the ones who find themselves involuntarily unemployed, who really do have a harder time. The stereotypes about them being unable to learn new tricks, accept lower pay, report to people younger than they are, or use now-essential technology, are all very real.

Again, I don't dispute that boomers were very lucky for having come of age in the best economy we will probably ever see, nor do I dispute the idea that this advantage basically gave them a huge head-start throughout their entire lives. But some of them got unlucky anyway, and involuntary unemployment is harder for them to get out of than it is for younger people.

And yes, as a group they do have massive political clout. But that's for the interests of the retired, not the unemployed.

If being a boomer is like being given a massive head start in a race, then being an involuntarily unemployed boomer in 2019 who cannot afford to retire would be akin to having your leg break in the race's last leg.

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persius (Dec 21, 2018 - 11:14 am)

Dbl

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midlaw (Dec 21, 2018 - 11:19 am)

It’s really hard to feel bad for boomers.

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specv313 (Dec 21, 2018 - 1:36 pm)

18 year old guy sued Dicks under state law making age discrimination in all instances (not just 40+) illegal.

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onehell (Jan 2, 2019 - 1:55 pm)

Good for this guy. He should sue. I don't know of any non-legal sector that regularly posts positions with maximum, as opposed to minimum, experience, and the justifications advanced for such things are absurd. They basically amount to "can't teach an old dog new tricks" or "people with too much experience will not follow orders as well, will not like reporting to people with less experience than them, and will expect more pay." Assumptions like that are pretty much the textbook reason older people get discriminated against, and they really are the kinds of stereotypes the ADEA was intended to make unlawful.

I know we hate on boomers a lot on here, but the reality is that the ADEA is a law and there's no exemption for lawyers. The culture in our profession of specifying "maximum experience" for certain jobs is highly questionable, and even if it doesn't explicitly mention age, the disparate impact of maximum experience rules is obvious.

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dingbat (Jan 2, 2019 - 8:36 pm)

try getting a job in IT if you're over the hill.

COBOL? FORTRAN? F--K OFF!

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williamdrayton (Jan 2, 2019 - 3:05 pm)

Onehells first point is very salient. I've been in non-legal for two whole years. I've seen hundreds of job ads in my field and never once saw an experience cap.

Now recruiters will look at a resume and ask, given your experience,are you willing to take X dollars per year? If you say yes, you will be considered.

How do other industries manage to figure out older people who are allegedly too set in their own ways and unwilling to take direction? But law cant do the same?

I can't say for sure the two concepts are related but in my field individual pedigree and prestige mean absolutely nothing. Probably not a coincidence.

Just to provide some context, my company overall is prestigious in it's industry. The equivalent of NYC Biglaw. Not bragging because I'm just a drone - but it's very "Big".

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onehell (Jan 2, 2019 - 4:07 pm)

Thanks for that. Yeah, I've never seen it outside of law. SHRM and other HR groups routinely advise people to watch our for that, or even to never use words like "overqualified" precisely because they could be seen as code for age discrimination. The people who won't take direction or expect higher pay than the position can offer can be weeded out in the interviews or during a probationary period, but to categorically exclude anyone with more than X years of experience would be just begging for a lawsuit in almost any industry.

One thing I thought of is that MAYBE something like a biglaw firm could try to defend it by arguing that their business model is such that after a certain number of years, you're expected to have your own book of business. But even that strikes me as weak. Why not just say that? And even if you did, what is the basis for categorically refusing to put someone in at a lower "class year" than their number of years out of law school would normally put them? If someone with 20 years experience is willing to accept a 5th year associate salary or whatever, what is the justification for categorically refusing to do so? This rigid biglaw model of hiring incoming associates as a "class," advancing them in lockstep like a class, and refusing to hire anyone who can't be slotted into the precise class their law school graduation date would indicate, raises EEO issues.

Honestly, I think it's one of those things that became normal merely because no one sued, not because it is permissible. Much like document reviewers who try to contend they aren't really practicing and thus should have FLSA protections, litigation is always a lengthy and expensive crapshoot and victory could be pyrrhic if in practical reality it would mean you'd never get another gig.

And in any case, that book of business justification would be irrelevant to an in-house gig like the one in the OP.

In short, dude has a case. And frankly, he's brave to risk his future employment prospects by bringing it, because as seen by the fact that this was deemed newsworthy in the first place, word gets around fast and employers aren't exactly falling all over themselves to hire people with a track record of suing their actual or prospective employers.

Another thought: TO litigate this in the in-house context, you'd almost have to be an applicant rather than an employee. An existing in-house lawyer could basically never accuse his employer of any kind of wrongdoing without first resigning, because to do so would immediately create a conflict of interest precluding continued representation. And even if you resigned to sue, you'd still have quite the privilege-related minefield to navigate. The ethics rules have only grudgingly accommodated in-house lawyering, and it's still something of a square bolt in a round hole.

So not only does he have a case, he has the best possible fact pattern because he's not in a position where bringing the case could risk a bar complaint. Short of them sending him a letter saying "sorry you're too old" it's about as blatant is it can get.

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batman (Jan 2, 2019 - 9:34 pm)

I read an article on this exact situation and some people suggested fudging your resume so it seemed like you only had the years of experience they are looking for. like leaving out previous jobs, college graduation year, stuff like that.

Not sure if it would help once they get a look at your old butt, but a 5% chance is better than 0 I guess

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demwave (Jan 2, 2019 - 10:24 pm)

Age discrimination is f-en real! I have sent my resume with 20 yr experience and later a head hunter calls me saying that while I have the requisite experience they only want 5 yrs experience but that they will keep me in mind for other jobs. 9 mos later no calls. The job description is 99% on point and meet all the criteria! Even if you fudge on your resume they can tell pretty much how old you are within 5-7 yrs plus or minus.

Meanwhile back at the ranch all the financial planning gurus, ever hear of Suze Orman, tell you to keep working and forsake SS until you are 70! Unless you are self employed, the only places that will hire 60 yr olds are Amazon and Walmart! America = winning! These issues predate Trump! The face of this issue is actually that private equity, blood sucking, parasitical, venomous, Bain capital, wedding cake man MITT RMONEY! First man to the guillotine!
Voted for Trump! Would not pi** on Rmoney if he was on fire!

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williamdrayton (Jan 2, 2019 - 10:45 pm)

LOL at legal employers/recruiters who post a salary range and then think that "experienced" applicants can't read and applied thinking the salary was much higher.

I think part of the problem is that many (most?)legal employers are clueless about the bimodal salary distribution. That's why they are so shocked at the existence of thousands of highly experienced lawyers who would kill to make Biglaw young associate wages. Or even entry-level corporate in-house wages.

"Hey Kleber,You graduated years ago - you must be swimming in models and bottles. Why would you take this job?"

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demwave (Jan 4, 2019 - 4:00 pm)

How many working male 60 yr olds do you know that arent:

1-self employed
2-work for state city or feds
3-doctor
4-has not been at his job for 15+ yrs.

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