We tend to think that the largest companies in the world would have bulletproof discrimination policies and training in place, but that is not always the case. Fortunately, other businesses can learn from their challenges, even when they appear not to be learning from the challenges themselves.
Age Discrimination Allegations
According to an article in USA Today, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is investigating age discrimination claims filed against Google.
Cheryl Fillekes filed a discrimination lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in San Jose and refers to the EEOC investigation done on Google. She was a systems engineer who interviewed for a position at Google. She alleges the company did not hire her when she was 47 because of her age.
In July 2016, for the third time, Google released the breakdown of its workforce based on gender and race. However, it has never revealed its workforce breakdown based on age.
Silicon Valley in general is known for its tech leaders who put a high value on young employees. The New Republic released an article in 2014 that quoted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as saying, “Young people are just smarter.” ServiceNow, an I.T. services company in Santa Clara promoted on its careers page “We Want People Who Have Their Best Work Ahead of Them, Not Behind Them.”
Robert Heath filed a lawsuit in 2015 against Google that alleged he was not hired for a software engineering position in 2011 when he was 60, even though he had IBM, Compaq and General Dynamics experience on his resume. Evidence in his lawsuit included a Google employees survey done by Payscale.com that showed the median employee age was 29 in 2013.
His lawsuit also referred to an earlier lawsuit in which Brian Reid, a former Google executive alleged he was called “an old fuddy duddy” and told his ideas were “too old to matter.” He settled his case out of court.
Fillekes has joined up with Heath and is seeking court approval to pursue a class action lawsuit against Google.
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