SACRAMENTO — An 84-year-old Sacramento man is desperate for work.
Benjamin Shipley says he has applied to hundreds of jobs over the last year and half and has gotten zero interviews or callbacks.
He now feels he’s being discriminated against because of his age and the type of questions he’s forced to answer on online applications such as his date of birth or the date of his high school or college graduations.
Shipley says often times if he doesn’t answer, he can’t submit.
“I feel like I’m being discriminated against because every time they ask you what your age is,” he said.
Shipley avoids jobs with requirements that don’t fit his skill set
“The ones that had the requirements on them I would not apply because the qualifications did not fit me, but there are a lot that do fit me, I just never got a response,” said Shipley.
The 84-year-old’s resume includes 13 years in auto sales. Prior to that he was the director of admissions on the college level and did motivational speaking.
He says he’s in great health, doing fitness competitions as of 3 years ago.
“I could be a good sales rep, or a greeter because being a motivational speaker I could talk to people for lengths of time,” he said.
Shipley finds the listings through various employment search engine sites.
More than 200 applications online have been sent to a range of job opportunities from the medical field, to Home Depot, Costco, Macy’s, restaurants and no hits.
Shipley believes it’s directly tied to the fact that he’s had to disclose his age.
“It’s certainly a piece of evidence that could be age discrimination,” said Sacramento attorney David Mastagni.
Mastagni says asking age on a job application in California is prohibited. One approach he said would be to avoid answering the questions, or if you can’t, call the HR department of those employers directly to see if there’s a way to submit without that info.
Meanwhile, this former U.S Air Force veteran says he’s not giving up.
“All I’m looking for is a chance. I think if someone gave me a break it would stick,” said Shipley
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