Applicant sues after manager told her why she wasn't hired

Here’s an example of a company that got in big legal trouble after a hiring manager gave an applicant an inconsistent explanation of why she didn’t get the job.
A 53-year-old woman applied for a job at a Starbucks store. During her interview, the hiring manager mentioned a concern with the availability listed on her application. The applicant then explained she would be flexible and could be available more frequently than the hours she listed.
Still, the woman wasn’t hired, because of the availability listed on the application, as well as “disrespectful body language” during the interview and her conduct afterward.
The applicant called the manager and visited the store to ask why she wasn’t hired. Each time, the manager gave the same answer — the availability listed on her application — without mentioning the other factors. She sued, claiming her age was the real reason.
Starbucks tried to get the case thrown out, but the judge wouldn’t buy it. Why not?
The main factor was the inconsistency in the manager’s explanations. She said one thing in court, and another to the applicant — which, according to the woman, shouldn’t have been a valid reason after she explained her flexibility in the interview.
Also, the court examined the store’s recent hiring records. Of the 19 employees hired by the manager, none were older than 30.
That gave the judge enough suspicion to send the case to a jury trial.
Cite: Boyajian v. Starbucks

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