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Question added to topic Human ResourcesJuly 11, 2008

How do I advertise employment for 18-to-23-year-olds without discriminating?

I am looking for employees for a labor-intensive position. I would like to target younger males for the job without discriminating.
In limited situations, discrimination based on age, sex or some other protected factor is permissible if the employer can demonstrate a truly compelling reason to discriminate.

For example, a religious organization may refuse to hire or promote someone not embracing the same religious beliefs; an employer can refuse to hire a man as an attendant in a women's locker room; or a person with an extremely heavy accent, originally from a non-English speaking country, can be denied a job requiring excellent English communication skills. Employers are advised, however, that courts are reluctant to permit such forms of discrimination.

You would be on safer ground describing the rigors of the position (e.g., "need to be able to lift 200 lb. boxes and store them at a height of 6 feet") and focusing on the needs of the position, rather than describing the kind of person you want to apply for the position.

Let the applicants self-select whether the work you’re offering is something they’d want to do.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.

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