In recent years, the technology industry has been widely accused of age discrimination, and now the government has launched an extensive investigation into a variety of age discrimination complaints against Silicon Valley tech conglomerate, Google.
In June 2016, a California federal court was urged by an individual suing the tech giant to expand the age discrimination suit to allow others to join who are over the age of 40 and interviewed with Google for an engineering job and denied employment dating back to August 13, 2010 and to present day.
About the Google Age Discrimination Complaints
One of the lawsuit's plaintiffs has accused Google of delaying the EEOC's investigation, an allegation that has been denied by the tech company. Google did acknowledge in its own filing, however, that it had been subjected to age discrimination complaints and is being investigated.
The discrimination suit against the tech giant was brought by former Google interviewees, Cheryl Fillekes and Robert Heath. The two engineers claim they were denied positions with the company due to their ages.
Fillekes alleges in a court filing that she was interviewed in person by Google four different times between 2007 and 2014, and that the interviews included "some occasions when Google affirmatively reached out to her about the opening based on her impressive qualifications and didn't hire her." She was 47 during her first interview.
Fillekes signed onto an existing age discrimination lawsuit that was filed by Heath in April 2015. Heath is a former software engineer who worked for a handful of major tech corporations such as IBM, General Dynamics and Compaq. Heath was 60 years old when he was invited to apply for an engineering position at Google in 2011. Heath's lawyer said that he will seek to have a broader class certified to include applicants who didn't get to in-person interview stages, as well.
The lawsuit also alleges that Google's employees are mostly comprised of people who are under the age of 40.
Google Denies Allegations Brought by Fillekes and Heath
In July 2015, Google responded to the lawsuit with its own court filing. According to the response, the company claimed that it had, in fact, reached out to both Fillekes and Heath for job interviews, but that the age discrimination allegations are untrue. Google also stated that its actions were "motivated by reasonable factors other than age."
Aging Tech Professionals Often Face Workplace Discrimination
According to the Mercury News, UC Davis computer science professor Norman Matloff said that "age discrimination is rampant in the industry" and that many tech companies shuffle out older workers to make way for younger (and cheaper) employees. Matloff went on to say that because pay rises with experience, older employees are considered "too expensive."
Raymond Peeler, an EEOC senior attorney adviser said that age discrimination is "much more blatant" than other biases in the workplace such as race and gender. Peeler noted that age discrimination tends to hinge on the belief that only employees of certain ages have necessary job skills that are required for the job.
While the issue of age discrimination is a hot button in Silicon Valley, the EEOC's charge statistics show that across the U.S., age discrimination claims have dropped in recent years. In California, charges have dropped from 1,856 in 2010 to 1,569 in 2014.
The age discrimination lawsuit against Google is scheduled for trial in May 2017.
This post has been adapted from an original article via The Mercury News
Google Age Discrimination Lawsuit: Additional Information
- Does Google have an age discrimination problem? via The Hill
- EEOC investigating Google for age discrimination, lawsuit says via USA Today
- Federal investigators probe Google over age-discrimination complaints via The Mercury News
- 64-year-old engineer sues Google for age discrimination via ArsTechnica
If you feel you have been subjected to age discrimination as an employee or job applicant in California, you may be able to sue your employer for workplace discrimination. Contact the California employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz to discuss your claim today.