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MHRC investigator finds that Lowe’s unlawfully asked applicant for graduation dates

It has been reported that the Maine Human Rights Commission will hear a case today against Lowe’s Home Improvement. Robert Hack of Greene filed the case against Lowe’s because he believed the company refused to hire him because of his age.  Mr. Hack unsuccessfully applied for jobs at Lowe’s stores in Auburn and Augusta.  The stores refused to hire him even though he had past experience working for Lowe’s. The MHRC investigator who investigated the case has reportedly found that Lowe’s discriminated against Mr. Hack because of his age and that the company asked Mr. Hack improper questions about his age during the hiring process.

Mr. Hack claims that, when he applied, Lowe’s asked him for the dates that he graduated from educational institutions. We previously wrote about a case against Tambrands where that company did essentially the same thing that Lowe’s allegedly did. In Maine, it is illegal for an employer to ask applicants for the dates in which they graduated from high school or other educational institutions. These graduation dates signal how old the applicant is and under the Maine Human Rights Act employers may not “elicit or attempt to elicit information directly or indirectly pertaining to…age.”

The MHRC has clear guidance on its website for employers which tells them that they cannot ask applicants for the dates when they graduated from educational institutions. Given that Tambrands and Lowe’s have both, apparently, violated this rule, it would not be surprising if other employers also violate it.

If you are an older worker that has unsuccessfully applied for jobs recently in which the employer asked you to identify the years that you graduated from educational institutions, you may be a victim of age discrimination. You should contact an experienced employment lawyer to learn more about your rights.