There are plenty of reasonable arguments for hiring younger workers – they’re cheaper than their older counterparts, they’re more likely to stay with a company longer and they tend to easily adapt to a company’s culture. The advantages are so strong that some companies go well out of their way to hire younger workers.

But plaintiffs in a new lawsuit filed in California against PricewaterhouseCoopers (PcW) claim that the accounting and consulting firm’s hiring practices discriminate against older workers by mostly recruiting college graduates for entry-level and lower-level positions.

Chris Tomlinson, Houston Chronicle business columnist, writes in a recent column that “when it comes to hiring new workers for entry-level positions, the government needs to cut employers some slack.”

“The whole point of age discrimination laws was to prevent companies from churning through older, more expensive workers,” Tomlinson says, “and forcing them out, or firing them out for no other reason than the fact that they were old and expensive.”

The critical question in the case is whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) extends to job applicants.

Tomlinson says that discrimination is only allowed in cases where there is a legitimate business purpose for doing so, citing the example of a restaurant that hires young, female waitresses and advertises this as a specific benefit of eating there.

“In PwC’s case, what they’re saying is that we pride ourselves on having a young workforce, on having an innovative workforce and that’s part of our brand,” Tomlinson says.

In his column, Tomlinson writes that “there comes a time for older workers to get out of the way and pass the baton on to younger workers.”

Three million students will graduate from college this May.

“They need to have opportunities and they need to have jobs and that’s what these entry-level position are for,” he says. “Baby boomers are working much later in life, they’re not giving up their jobs, they’re not retiring at 65 [and] that’s creating a jam on the corporate ladder.”

Tomlinson says that baby boomers who are in need of work and applying for entry-level positions must re-evaluate why they are in this position.

“Sometimes you have to live with the decisions that you made, about what kind of education you have, about how well you’ve planned for retirement,” he says.

Written by Molly Smith.

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  • Eva M Silverfine Ott April 19, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Mr. Tomlinson, in this interview, seems to ignore (or be ignorant of) the reality of job loss for many baby boomers during the economic downturn. Many people now in their 50s and 60s remain intermittently employed or underemployed. His points may be well taken, but the failure of these individuals to find gainful employment can often be attributed to age discrimination.

  • David Morin April 19, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    The outrage I am feeling at hearing this CLOWN Chris Tomlinson describe how baby boomers should simply step out of the way because there a 3 million people about to graduate in May, is very difficult to describe. PEOPLE should be considered for jobs based on their ability to perform the work NOT on their age or what generation they happen to come from. Mr. Tomlinson says that these 3 million people graduating in May “deserve” their chance; NO THEY DON”T DESERVE ANY SPECIAL CONSIDERATION JUST BECAUSE OF WHEN THEY ARE GRADUATING!!!!! They need to go out and compete with WHOEVER is in the same marketplace as they are. If that happens to be someone over 50, or 6o or more, then so be it; they can just grow up and figure it out. Mr. Tomlinson’s argument is simply RIDICULOUS. It brings to mind various science-fiction stories where people are only allowed to get to a certain age then go ahead and get out of the way. Perhaps he wants to discriminate against handicapped folks as well. It is truly sad that this FOOL has the ability to spread this drivel via the media.