Google, once again, finds itself the target of an age discrimination lawsuit.
This time the claim comes from a 64-year-old engineer, who says Google never even considered hiring him due to his age.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Robert Heath says in his complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., that Google unfairly dismissed his application for a software engineering job in 2011 when he was 60 years old, despite his work experience at IBM, Compaq, and General Dynamics. The lawsuit says Google based its decision not to hire Heath on a brief phone interview, despite telling him in an email that the company was “embarking on its largest recruiting / hiring campaign in its history,” and “you would be a great candidate to come work at Google.”
“Google intentionally did not allow Mr. Heath to communicate or demonstrate his full technical abilities, and did not have a sincere interest in hiring Mr. Heath,” says the lawsuit. “Google failed to hire Mr. Heath and other members of the putative class in favor of younger applicants under the age of 40.”
The lawsuit cites a study that says the median age of computer engineers at Google is 29, compared to 43 for the population at large.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because Google’s been sued over this very issue before. In 2004, a computer scientist named Brian Reid sued his former employer, Google, after he was fired and replaced by someone 15 years is junior. According to Reid, Larry Page fired him (Reid held a lofty title – director of operations) after he was told he wasn’t a “cultural fit” and was “too old to matter”. After years of legal battles, the case was settled out of court.
Google’s not the only tech company facing recent lawsuits over this issue.
“We believe that the facts will show that this case is without merit and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously,” said Google in a statement.
You hear a lot about discrimination in the tech world – from gender to racial. Ageism doesn’t get as much play, but it certainly exists.