Raytheon’s ‘recent graduate’ job ads amount to age discrimination, class-action lawsuit alleges

Raytheon Technologies Corp., a major aerospace and defense company with nearly 200,000 employees, “intentionally and effectively excludes nearly all older workers from qualifying for, competing for, and obtaining many jobs at Raytheon,” according to a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The lawsuit alleged the company writes targeted job postings that use phrases like “recent college graduates,” “new college graduate,” “new graduate” and “recent graduate” and requires applicants to have limited work experience, provide a copy of their college transcript and list their month and year of college graduation.

According to the lawsuit, the 67-year-old lead plaintiff has applied for at least seven such positions at Raytheon in the past few years. He “met all the qualifications, except he was not a recent college graduate and he did not have less than 12 or 24 months of relevant work experience,” the lawsuit said, resulting in the company failing to consider him. 

Such conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the plaintiff and his representation — including the AARP Foundation — said. The plaintiff is also bringing the lawsuit under the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act and the Virginia Human Rights Act. 

The plaintiff seeks to represent a nationwide class of qualified applicants aged 40 and older who applied for and were denied or were deterred from applying to one of Raytheon’s “recent graduate positions.” 

Among other remedies, the plaintiff seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction against Raytheon from engaging in age discrimination, front and back pay, and damages.

Raytheon denied the allegations in a statement to HR Dive.

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

When it comes to age discrimination claims, job ads are a common trip wire for companies. Last June, in a settlement that also featured the AARP Foundation, Target agreed to monitor its job ads to ensure they don’t target younger workers and committed to expand its recruitment efforts by recruiting on websites focused on older workers, using images of older workers and participating in job fairs that commonly reach older workers.