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Raytheon accused of age discrimination over job openings limited to recent college grads

A job seeker says the defense system giant won't even consider older applicants for positions it offers to recent college graduates.

(CN) — RTX Corporation, formerly known as Raytheon, discriminates against older applicants in its hiring practices for positions aimed at recruiting recent college graduates, one such applicant claims in a class action filed Tuesday against the aerospace and defense giant.

Mark Goldstein, 67, says he has submitted at least seven applications for RTX's recent graduate position openings since 2019 and says the company’s refusal to consider him for an opening position is based on his age.

“Despite the fact that Mr. Goldstein has been genuinely interested in a position with Raytheon, committed to relocating, if necessary, and has skills that Raytheon needs to address a years’ long labor shortage, Raytheon has not hired Mr. Goldstein for any of the positions to which he applied, has never offered him an interview and has failed to seriously consider Mr. Goldstein’s applications based on his age,” Goldstein says in the complaint.

RTX Corporation — one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense companies under which Raytheon is a subsidiary — touted in 2023 that roughly 25% of all new hires were recent college graduates, Goldstein says in the complaint. He adds that percentage has continued to grow since.

The class action was filed in the U.S. District for the District of Massachusetts under claims that RTX's recent graduate recruitment campaign uses discriminatory language intended to weed out older applicants from its application process.

RTX, which has over 185,000 employees worldwide, publicly promotes its efforts to focus on “early career hiring" — an initiative shown in the company’s job postings which specify the positions are only opened to recent college graduates with limited work experience.

Goldstein says the job postings for these early-career positions include discriminatory language intended to dissuade older workers from applying by requiring applicants to have recently completed college or graduate school or have less than two years of work experience.

“Those job postings indicate a clear preference for younger workers and discrimination against older workers by advertising the positions as jobs for recent or new college or graduate school graduates and by including limitations or qualifications based on applicant’s date of graduation and/or limited work experience,” Goldstein says.

The postings, which specify “New Graduate” on early-career job openings, unfairly prevent older workers interested in entry-level positions from applying, Goldstein adds.

He also notes that, in the job application process, applicants are required to provide the month and year of their graduation, allowing the company to weed out prospective employees from the application process.

Goldstein filed a complaint against RTX's hiring practices with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2019. The commission issued a final determination letter in 2021 finding that Goldstein was denied the opportunity to be considered for the recent graduate positions “because of his age, and not because he did not meet the minimum qualifications required for the jobs.”

Despite that determination, Goldstein says, RTX has continued to publish job advertisements geared specifically to recent college graduates with less than two years of work experience.

Goldstein says in the complaint that he has over 40 years of experience in cybersecurity, technology and risk management with positions at Northern Telecom, America Online and Websense. He has also worked as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and held a federal government security clearance.

He also has a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in business administration from American University.

One of the positions Goldstein applied to was advertised as “Cyber Defense Technologist II” in 2019, which required applicants to be currently enrolled or a recent graduate with a master’s degree in “computer science, information system management, information technology, criminal justice, business or other relevant degree.”

The position also requires applicants to have the ability to obtain a Department of Defense security clearance, which Goldstein has been able to obtain in a previous position.

Goldstein says that other than not being a recent college graduate, he met all qualifications for the position but was not even contacted for an interview.

In a statement, RTX said the company is committed to its mission for maintaining a diverse workforce.

“RTX complies with all relevant age discrimination laws, and we’re committed to maintaining a diverse workforce. We believe these claims are entirely without merit and we will actively defend our hiring practices,” a spokesperson for RTX said in a statement.

Goldstein is represented by Raymond Ausrotas, an attorney with Arrowood Law, and attorneys from the AARP Foundation.

“Our federal and state laws guarantee that no matter your age, you can apply for a job without fear of discrimination,” William A. Rivera, senior vice president of litigation for AARP Foundation, said in a statement. “This is critical as we live longer and healthier lives. Unfortunately, one of the largest government contractors in the country has ripped away job opportunities from too many older candidates.”

Follow @NikaSchoonover
Categories / Civil Rights, Employment, Technology

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