[Baypiggies] Ageism rehashed

Alex Martelli aleax at google.com
Wed Feb 9 00:07:52 CET 2011

On Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 5:54 PM, Daniel González Gasull
<daniel at djansoft.com> wrote:
> I also wonder why a lot job applications ask for your street address.
> I don't want to give my street address to a stranger before I'm
> working there.  City, state and even zipcode is fine with me, but not
> full address.
> By the way, where I come from (Spain) almost everybody writes the date
> of birth and also usually their married status in their resume.  I was
> actually pleasantly surprised when I realized nobody in the US does
> that and is actually forbidden to ask that information in a job
> application.

Common in Italy too -- and almost inevitable, since there may be
government requirements or subsidies for employing certain age
categories and/or people of a certain marital/parental status (depends
on the exact set of local and national governments involved and
changes every year or so).

E.g., an employer (in certain parts of Italy and in certain years) may
get from the government a certain rebate on their social security
contribution if it employs a single parent with sole custody of a
minor child (widow/widower or unmarried), or somebody at least 50
years old who's been unemployed for at least three years, and so
forth; firms of a certain size may be required to meet certain minimum
quotas for such categories (or others such as employees with
disabilities &c).

These no doubt well-intentioned attempts at "affirmative action" to
help disadvantaged categories and promote diversity would make it
contradictory for the government to simultaneously forbid the employer
to ascertain whether such criteria under they want to encourage hiring
(which do include age, family status, disabilities) are or are not met
(not that such contradiction has ever stopped governments from
mandating both A and non-A, of course, especially when multiple
jurisdictions -- national, city, region, Europe... -- overlap).


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