It turns out more than 200 job seekers collectively filed a lawsuit against Google Inc. They are accusing the technology company of discriminating against applicants over the age of 40 during the recruitment process. At the moment, Google agreed to pay $11 million but it denied that the company had treated the elderly applicants unfairly.
Software engineer Cheryl Fillekes is the initiator of the class action lawsuit. She claims they have applied for Google four times in more than seven years. And although she has ‘highly relevant qualifications and programming experience’, she has been rejected for age reasons. Cheryl accused the company of ‘systematic discrimination’ among older job seekers.
Google denied allegations of age discrimination and said it refused Cheryl and other job seekers because they did not demonstrate the technical skills needed for the job. The company has implemented strong policies to combat discrimination, including age discrimination.
In fact, this process has begun back in 2015 when Robert Heath filed the legal challenge against Google. According to him, he was interviewed for a position that he was told by a recruiter he would be a ‘great candidate’ for. However, when being interviewed, the interviewer assumed the word ‘byte’ meant eight bits which revealed age bias.
It is reported that there are 227 plaintiffs participating in class actions, with an average of more than $35,000 per person. But it’s assumed the settlement will go forward. So $2.75 million of the $11 million payout will end up in the coffers of the lawyers representing the class. Cheryl will get an additional $10,000 as the lead plaintiff.
Google isn’t the first tech company to face age discrimination complaints. Other big players such as Intel, Oracle and Facebook have all been accused of similar behavior.