Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Google settles age discrimination case for $11m

Agreement ends a lawsuit accusing the internet giant of bias against older job applicants

The settlement also calls for the Alphabet unit to train employees and managers about age bias. Reuters
The settlement also calls for the Alphabet unit to train employees and managers about age bias. Reuters

Google agreed to pay $11 million (Dh40.3m) to end a lawsuit accusing the internet giant of discriminating against older job applicants, a deal that amounts to an average payout of more than $35,000 for 227 people who joined the class action.

The settlement also calls for the Alphabet unit to train employees and managers about age bias, to create a committee focused on age diversity in recruiting and to ensure complaints are adequately investigated.

Lawyers for the company and attorneys representing the over-40 jobseekers who sued submitted a final settlement proposal on Friday to a federal judge in San Jose, California. Lawyers will collect about $2.75m from the accord.

The case was brought by a woman who claimed she was interviewed by Google four times over seven years and was never offered employment despite her “highly pertinent qualifications and programming experience” because of her age. Cheryl Fillekes accused the company of “a systematic pattern and practice of discriminating” against older people.

“Age discrimination is an issue that needs to be addressed in the tech industry, and we’re very pleased that we were able to obtain a fair settlement for our clients in this case,” said Daniel Low, a lawyer for Ms Fillekes.

Google denied the allegations, saying that Ms Fillekes and other jobseekers she cited as examples did not demonstrate the technical aptitude required for the job, even though they were found by staff interviewers to be “Googley” enough to be a good fit for the company.

The company said it still denies that it intentionally discriminated against Ms Fillekes, or any of the other plaintiffs, because of their age. It says it has strong policies in place against discrimination, including age discrimination.

Updated: July 21, 2019 10:02 AM

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