Born in the Bandwidth: 'Digital Native' as Pretext for Age Discrimination
ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, vol. 31, p. 521 (2016)
27 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 19, 2016
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of age against persons over the age of 40. However, the ways in which this discrimination can occur are sometimes hard to recognize. This article argues that using the term “digital native” in job applications, specifically in the technology sector, can be a pretext for age discrimination. Coined in 2001, the term “digital native” means someone born in the age of technology. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has prohibited the use of terms such as “recent college graduate,” “young,” and “young blood,” from the recruiting process, but has yet to take a position on the phrase “digital native.” The EEOC should treat the term “digital native” the way it has treated other age qualifiers, prohibiting it from use because of its discriminatory intent.
Keywords: digital native, age discrimination, young, job application
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