One of Silicon Valley's most famous companies, Google, recently settled a class action lawsuit alleging age discrimination to the tune of $11 million. Those who were watching the case believe the settlement may spur California's many technology companies to make changes to prevent age discrimination in the workplace.
Statistics suggest that age discrimination may indeed be a problem within the tech industry. For instance, in the world of computers and technology, workers under 35 far outnumber those who are over 35. While this can be attributed to a number of causes, it could reflect a subtle bias among California's tech companies when it comes to hiring and elevating younger employees over older ones.
This seems to be the gist of what happened in the recent case which Google settled. The lead plaintiff in the case, who was 47, had a doctorate in geophysics. She attended four interviews with the company but never got hired. While the median age for the average American worker is 42, the median age of a Google employee is 29.
The settlement will ultimately be paid out to over 200 claimants, all employees or potential employees who claimed Google discriminated against them based on their age. Moreover, Google has agreed to deploy additional training on age discrimination and take steps to make sure that older applicants are getting a fair shake.
It is unfortunate that in both the technology industry and across the broader workplace age discrimination remains a problem. Indeed, many people, including many employers, just do not seem to understand, or care, that this form of discrimination is both illegal and, ultimately, detrimental to the economy.
A victim of age discrimination who lives in or around the Los Angeles area may have legal options available to him or her. Therefore, those who believe they have been adversely effected by discrimination should consider consulting with a legal professionals about how best to seek legal recourse.