Infosys job ad cut-out older workers, claims lawsuit

58-year-old applicant says 'maximum experience' requirement was discriminatory

A US federal lawsuit claims requirements in job ads posted by India-based offshore company Infosys Technologies automatically discriminated against older workers.

Ralph DeVito, a New Jersey resident who filed the lawsuit, had applied for two tech job openings advertised by Infosys on Monster.com.

One Infosys job posting set a "maximum experience" requirement of 15 years, and another set a limit of 25 years.

DeVito filled out the online forms but his applications "were immediately and automatically rejected" because he didn't satisfy the maximum experience requirements, according to his lawsuit.

DeVito, who was 58 when he applied for the jobs, has more than 25 years of experience in the jobs sought.

"Simply doing the math, 25 years' experience boxes out anyone who is over 40," said John Roberts, an attorney at Arseneault Whipple Fassett & Azzarello in Chatham, New Jersey, who represents DeVito.

Infosys said it doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Monster Worldwide was also named in the lawsuit. A spokesman for the jobs site said that "all the processes therein were designed and controlled by Infosys and hosted on Infosys website."

The lawsuit contends that Monster should have known that "maximum experience" requirements "constituted a de facto age limit."

According to the lawsuit, DeVito believed he had met the job requirements.

One of the job ads, provided by his attorney, sought a senior principal infrastructure consultant. Among the skills required was the ability to demonstrate expertise in at least one core infrastructure area — systems management, operations, database management or network management.

The experience requirement in the ad was exceedingly narrow. It sought a candidate in an "expected experience range" of between a "minimum 12 years and maximum 15 years."

As a rule, job ads that appear to have tailored requirements have drawn the attention of H-1B opponents. Companies hiring prospective foreign workers carrying a green card, which allows permanent residency, must first advertise the job to show that no qualified Americans are available for it.

The Infosys job ads cited in the lawsuit appeared in mid-2009.

DeVito initially filed a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In November, the EEOC, in a letter to DeVito, wrote, "We found that you were discriminated against in violation of the ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act)."

The EEOC also told DeVito that it was unsuccessful in an attempt "to facilitate a successful conciliation" between the parties. The EEOC decided not to bring a lawsuit, but told DeVito that he had a right to sue. The EEOC doesn't file lawsuit every time it rules a complainant was discriminated against.

That lawsuit was filed late last month and DeVito is seeking a jury trial and damages.

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