Google has once again been sued for age discrimination. Four years ago, 64-year-old, Robert Heath, interviewed with Google Inc., and they did not offer him the job, after recruiters told him he was a great candidate. Heath’s complaint filed in the U.S District Court in San Jose, CA, argues his application and interview for a software engineering job in 2011 was dismissed, although he has previously worked at IBM, General Dynamics, and Compaq. It also stated the decision was based on a phone interview, regardless of telling him in an email the company was looking to hire as many people as they can.
Heath had a 10 minute phone interview with a recruiter, and the entire time the recruiter had him on speaker causing the conversation to be disoriented. The recruiter barely spoke English, and when asked to use the headset instead of the speaker phone the recruiter declined, yet failed to understand Heath’s answers and had Heath repeat himself many times. Heath was then not offered the job.
In Google’s defense to the lawsuit they stated, the facts are not merit and they will defend themselves. However, in Heath’s complaint, during 2007-2013, the company’s workforce grew from 9,500 to 28,000 employees and the median age range was 29. He is seeking a class-action suit against the internet search engine for applicants that are 40 and older. He told Wall street Journal on Thursday, “There are very qualified older tech workers who are out of work.” Heath’s 21-page class-action complaint requests a jury trial, changes to their HR policy, and monetary damages.
Heaths is represented by law firm Kotchen & Low, and his lawyer Daniel low said in an email to Silicon Beast on Thursday, that the low number of older workers, and past cases of Google being sued for age discrimination, offers enough evidence to fight google to end discriminatory practices, and change discriminatory policies for the future. The lawsuit also refers to Brian Reid’s case, who was fired as the Google’s engineering director in 2004, which provided the courts enough evidence of how he was mistreated and told he was not a cultural fit.
Heath congregated a lot of resources to back him up with his lawsuit, that another reference he made in the 21-page class-action suit, was the survey of different companies from a workforce information site report on the median age range. The site he used is Payscale.com, and he compared their reports to the U.S department of Labor. He found that Payscale said Google’s median age was 29, but the Department of Labor reported the range being 43. A spokeswomen from Payscale explained they got their numbers from averaging out 840 of the companies employers. The report also showed that Google ranked having the sixth youngest workforce amongst tech companies.
Before Heath sued Google for their age discrimination acts he asked the courts, and they allowed him to follow-through with the cases. Google has recently jump-started diversity within the company, by releasing information on its gender and racial make-up. However, they do not mention their policies of age discrimination. Google employees have recently visited UC Davis to recruit students, and students told reporters they interviewed the young and old, but they believed they held the answers of the older students higher than the younger because older students would expect more pay, and were looked at to be more qualified for the positions rather than the younger students.
Many qualified older adults are without jobs in their chosen field of choice because many companies believe they are overly qualified. American companies then hire foreigners to do the jobs that willing to work Americans can do because they do not want to pay them a higher amount. This has been Google’s second time being sued for age discrimination and they still have not changed their policies of hiring all ages or spoke on the reasons why they do not hire older adults.
By Krystle Mitchell
Photo By Brionv – Creativecommons Flickr License