What’s an employer to do when an older person who’s had high-level responsibility in previous jobs applies for a lower-level position with you?

Well, there’s one thing you’d better not do – reject them as “overqualified.”

It’s one of those code words that raise the suspicions of potential lawsuit plaintiffs, their lawyers, and the courts.

Age discrimination?
In the case of a rejected applicant to AmerisourceBergen Corp., the 60-year-old applicant thought overqualified meant “too old,” and the EEOC agreed, suing the company for age discrimination. The applicant was seeking a job managing the Valley Forge, PA-based company’s telecoms vendors. In the past, he’d been a telecoms engineer, project manager and director-level manager who negotiated vendor contracts.

Despite the company’s expressed fear about his “overqualification,” he insisted he was really interested in the job. But someone 20 years younger got it.

Takeaway: A lot of people these days are planning to work beyond the classic retirement age, and may be interested in jobs with less responsibility. Don’t assume these jobs will bore them so much that they’ll underperform.

Cite: EEOC v. AmerisourceBergen Corp.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Rapid Learning Institute 1510 Chester Pike, Suite 310 Eddystone, PA 19022

  • Toll Free: (877) 792-2172
  • Contact Us

About RLI

RLI is 100% CAN-SPAM compliant. We're dedicated to protecting your privacy. We will NEVER sell or share your email address and will promptly honor all unsubscribe requests.

Learn More

Connect With Us

Signup to Receive Industry-Leading Tips and News from our Experts