We all use the search engine Google for many things on a daily basis. Many of us across the country and even right here in Tennessee, use it to search for information, to look up news, or even to find out how popular a website or product may be. Even though we all like and use Google daily, they are still a company with employees and this case may discriminate against the age of their employees.
In this case as reported on May 27, 2010, a Google manager Brian Reid claims he was dismissed from the company for being too old. He was hired as the director of operations and engineering when he was fifty-two, and was then fired by the company two years later after being told by his supervisor that he was not “a cultural fit” for the company. His lawyer, Paul J. Killion told the California high court that company e-mails show that Google prefers younger workers.
Reid’s lawyer also told the court that a former Google recruiter testified that the term was used only in company circles to refer to older workers. Reid also said that his colleagues referred to him as an “old fuddy duddy” and an “old man”. He also said a high level manger said he was “fuzzy, sluggish, and lethargic”.
Google says that Reid was fired because his position was eliminated. Paul W. Crane Jr, the representative for Google, argued that courts should not decide the merit of lawsuits based on random discriminatory comments by employees who were not involved in the decision to fire Reid.
Chief Justice Ronald M. George, said that “a failure to explore new ideas or be imaginative could have nothing to do with age” and asked whether the fact that Reid was already in his 50s when he was hired, undermined his case. Crane the Google representative said it did.
However, an appeals court ruled that Reid had presented sufficient evidence of age discrimination to have his case heard before a jury. Google appealed and now the state high court will determine what kind of evidence courts may consider in whether a case should go before a jury. Reid’s lawsuit also included evidence that showed older workers received worse evaluations and lower bonuses than younger employees.
In this fast paced Internet world we live in, it is unfortunate to think that as we grow older we may be discriminated against or told that we are too slow or too old to work for a certain company, but cases like these happen every day, even right here in Tennessee.
If you or a loved one believes you have been the victim of age discrimination in the workforce, we recommend contacting one of our experienced and caring Tennessee Employment attorneys right away. We will hear your case and make sure your rights are heard and you get the care you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 800.705.2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.