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Potential class action against Google for age discrimination

by on July 5, 2016

It’s hard to tear ourselves away from Brexit fall-out (including this item in The Guardian about Germany considering awarding dual nationality to young British workers: age-based nationality tests, what next?).

But this article in the Daily Mail caught my eye because it relates to the tech industry, often reported as notoriously ageist. Specifically, there is a chance of a class action being brought in the US against Google. The original legal claim was started by Robert Heath. He had applied to Google for a job in 2011, when he was 60, but didn’t get it. He says he was fully qualified for the software  engineering position and was deemed ‘a great candidate’ by a recruiter. (That on its own doesn’t necessarily mean age discrimination if a position is over-supplied with great, fully qualified candidates). His legal claim however alleges that Google ‘engaged in a systematic pattern and practice of discriminating against individuals (including Mr. Heath) who are age 40 and older in hiring, compensation, and other employment decisions.‘ It seems that other people have joined the legal action, with similar claims (i.e. unsuccessful job applications). This being the US, claimants have to be aged 40 or older to be legally protected against age discrimination (unlike the UK position).

The latest development is that a court application has been made to allow anyone to join the legal action who is over 40 and feels they had been discriminated against by Google and not hired because of their age. One to watch!

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