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

See all articles by Jessica Sink

Jessica Sink

Independent

Richard A. Bales

Ohio Northern University - Pettit College of Law

Date Written: December 19, 2016

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Sink, Jessica and Bales, Richard A., Born in the Bandwidth: 'Digital Native' as Pretext for Age Discrimination (December 19, 2016). ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, vol. 31, p. 521 (2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2887774

Jessica Sink

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Richard A. Bales (Contact Author)

Ohio Northern University - Pettit College of Law ( email )

525 South Main Street
Ada, OH 45810
United States
419-772-2205 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.onu.edu/node/3073

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