Google Accused of Discriminating Against Workers Based on Age
Technology giant Google is facing a class-action lawsuit from job applicants who claim they were not hired by the company due to their age. The plaintiffs are engineers over the age of 40 who were all turned down for jobs at Google and they claim the decision was based solely on their age. Federal law makes it a crime for companies with more than 20 employees to discriminate against an applicant or employee over age 40.
The lawsuit started with one plaintiff in 2015 and grew to a class-action suit last years as more and more people spoke up against Google’s employment practices. Google maintains it did nothing wrong and claims it has policies against age discrimination in place.
Age Discrimination Claim Against Google
However, a U.S. District Court judge says that having policies in place does not mean a company is innocent of the charges. In fact, Google has been accused of age discrimination once before—more than a decade ago. In 2004, Google was sued for age discrimination and the case was settled outside of court. The settlement amount is unknown.
All 269 of these plaintiffs have workplace discrimination stories related to Google. One woman—who was obviously qualified for a position at the company—was not hired based on age discrimination. A recruiter had told her to add her graduation dates so the company could see how old she was.
Age Discrimination in Technology
For many companies, younger is better. Age discrimination is a huge problem, especially in the technology industry. The median age of workers at Google and Facebook is just 29 years old. More than 60 percent of older workers have experienced or witnessed age discrimination in the workplace.
In the past, when companies laid off employees, the newer, less experienced ones were the first to go. Now, that situation has reversed. Studies show that older workers have a harder time finding jobs than younger workers. The tech industry is especially cruel to those over age 45.
Suing for Age Discrimination
Unfortunately, ageism is a growing problem. There were as many as 19,000 complaints a year from 1997 to 2007. After 2008, though, the number of annual claims has reached 25,000 a year.
Winning an age discrimination lawsuit is not impossible but it’s very difficult. A plaintiff must have clear proof that age was a factor in a hiring or termination decision. This evidence can be hard to find unless you have witnesses or communications (letters, emails, etc.) focusing on your age as a factor.
In the past, older employees were often laid off first. While many may blame age, the real reason is that older employees are often paid more, so it makes sense to reduce costs as much as possible.
Work with an Experienced New York Workplace Discrimination Lawyer
Age discrimination is on the rise. If you are older than age 40 and feel you have been turned down for job opportunities based on your age, you need solid proof. It’s important to properly document cases in which you feel have been wronged by employers.
These types of cases can be difficult to prove, so make sure you have strong legal representation. A New York City wrongful discrimination lawyer at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. can assess your case. Contact our firm today at (347) 464-8694 to schedule a consultation in our Queens office.