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Old Guy Smacks Google For Age Discrimination

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Google may have thought itself free of Brian Reid and his lawsuit after one court rejected his age discrimination suit, but the appellate court found that rejection was in error.


Old Guy Smacks Google For Age Discrimination
Old Guy Smacks Google For Age Discrimination

The much revered worship of youth and youthfulness at Google has had some real-world consequences. Instead of being rid of Reid, who they fired in April 2004 after nearly two years of service, and his lawsuit, Google received a big setback from the California Sixth District Court of Appeal.

The Central Valley Business Times obtained a copy of the appellate court’s decision in the Reid case. It’s a dynamite 26 pages of reading, and goes all the way up to implicate CEO Eric Schmidt in having a role in pushing Reid out the door (spacing added for clarity):

On October 13, 2004, Rosing removed Reid from the Director of Operations position and removed his responsibilities and reports as Director of Engineering. Rosing’s decision to move Reid into the position and remove the Director of Operations was instigated by Hoelzle.

Although Reid was permitted to retain his title as Director of Engineering, Reid was moved into a new role at Google to develop and implement a new program aimed at retaining engineers by enabling them to obtain a Master’s Degree in Engineering by attending courses taught by Carnegie Melon University Professors at Google.

CEO Schmidt assured Reid that the graduate degree program was important and that the work on it would require another five years. Reid was not given a budget or a staff to support the graduate program.

In Rosing’s response to Schmidt, Rosing expressed concern about the group’s decision regarding Reid’s bonus, stating he was “having second thoughts about the full zero out of the $14K bonus [versus] treating it consistent with all similarly situated performers.”

Rosing instead determined that Reid should receive a bonus of $11,300, in addition to some other suggested terms of a severance agreement, to avoid a “judge concluding we acted harshly . . . .”

A copy of the Court’s decision may be found here. The appellate judges found "Google acted with discriminatory motive such that a factfinder would conclude Google engaged in age discrimination."

Age discrimination in the tech industry has been a given for job seekers for years. Norm Matloff, a computer science professor at UC-Davis, has frequently cited age discrimination within the industry.

Although whispers about Google doing so have been made before, this is the clearest case of documentation suggesting it has been practiced with the approval of the highest levels of Google’s leadership.

Old Guy Smacks Google For Age Discrimination
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  • http://www.ezlistmailer.com Sean Taylor

    In the modern world , it has been found that the age does not matter.

  • http://www.pctd.co.uk Adrian

    Well it’s a shame that they did this but you do have to think that no matter where you go a business will always do what is best for the business..it’s just a shame he was not apart of that plan.

    But what leaves me thinking is why they wnated him out in the first place. If (because of his age) he was removed then there must have been a reason behind it..i mean just cause the guy is older they would not suddenly remove him…would they?

    Maybe he tried a idea that would only work for older people or something..something to get their backs up.

    Adrian
    PC Technicians Direct

  • Guest

    Very sad that age discrimination is a possibility at Google. Discrimination, rather based on color, age or most reasons, is hurtful and destructive to our fellow human beings. Yes many of the technical skill sets are youth oriented. Google now has the resources to address this issue also. Lets make opportunity and a creative work enviroment availble to ALL. It’s really good for the planet folks and the right thing to do. 

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