More Employees Continue to Come Forward in Google Age Discrimination Case

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Almost 300 people have come forward to join the class action lawsuit against Google alleging age discrimination in the workplace. The lawsuit originated in 2015 and was originally filed by Robert Heath. The lawsuit was certified as a class-action a year later in 2016.

Cheryl Fillekes joined the case in 2015. She alleged that due to her age, Mountain View-based Google would not hire her for an engineering position she was fully qualified to handle. She alleged the action violated the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act. In documents provided to the court, Fillekes claimed that a recruiter advised her of the necessity to include her dates of graduation on her resume so that the company could see how old she was.

In fall of 2016, Judge Beth Labson Freeman ruled that more software engineers could join the lawsuit. The suit covers more than 40 engineers who sought jobs at Google, but claim they experienced age discrimination during the process.

Google’s spokesperson, Ty Sheppard, made it clear that the company feels the allegations made are without merit and that Google will continue to provide a vigorous defense. He also cited Google’s strong policies barring discrimination of all kinds, including age discrimination. In response to other claims Google has made in legal channels that they maintain policies guarding against age discrimination in the workplace, Judge Freeman replied that having a policy in place does not necessarily prevent employees from filing suit against a company or shield the company from the lawsuit – particularly when the evidence and allegations indicate discrepancies between written policy and action. Most companies are well aware at this point about anti-discrimination and go to great lengths to ensure that their written policies comply.

Google, everyone’s favorite search engine giant, has been accused of age discrimination before. In 2004 a lawsuit was filed and eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. It’s not a secret that the tech industry of Silicon Valley is young. The Huffington Post reported that the median age of workers as of 2017 at Google and Menlo Park-based Facebook was only 29 years old.

If you have been a victim of age discrimination in the workplace or any other type of workplace discrimination, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.

Chicago Cubs Dealing with Age Discrimination Lawsuit: Email Supports Bias Claims

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A former Chicago Cubs’ scout filed an age bias lawsuit that took an interesting turn when a California federal judge pointed out the potential significance of an email that included both ratings of scouts’ performances AND what the judge described as “beauty contest” descriptions listing their age and physique.

When the Los Angeles hearing started, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson advised both parties’ attorneys that he would be focusing on how the baseball organizations’ pending motion for summary judgment would be affected by a number of internal scouting department emails. The judge ordered the Cubs to provide these emails to the court.

One email, sent in August 2015 by the Cubs scouting department’s second-in-command, assistant director of pro scouting Andrew Bassett was sent to Jared Porter, a recently hired (at the time of the email) Cubs’ director of pro scouting. The email contained information that is receiving a lot of attention from the court.

The Plaintiff’s attorney describes the contents of the email as a “ranking of scouts like Henderson [the plaintiff].” Bassett’s descriptions of the scouts in the email included references to their age, their families, their body types, and other information. The judge called into question what the physical descriptions included in the email had to do with a scout’s performance on the job – referring to the situation as the baseball organization holding beauty contests for their scouts. Henderson, 65 years old, and other older scouts were ranked poorly according to the internal email.

The Defendant’s attorney argued that all the scout’s ages were listed and that the email was presented in a casual tone, but also contained a fair evaluation of their scouts’ performances. He claimed the Cubs were entitled to summary judgment because the plaintiff was not fired. Instead, his annual contract was simply not renewed. The Defendants argue this does not constitute a wrongful act and is not liked to any sort of alleged discriminatory action.

The judge responded that he would need to review the emails in detail.

If you are experiencing discrimination in the workplace of if you are a victim of wrongful termination, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.