CAUTIONARY TALES EPISODE 34
DON’T BE COLD TO THE OLD! Google Settles Age Discrimination Case for $11 Million.
Federal age discrimination protections,including the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), apply to companies with 20 or more on payroll. California’s workplace anti-discrimination law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), applies to employers with five or more on payroll. Both types of age-related discrimination laws only apply to persons age 40 or over.
In a federal class action lawsuit against Google,named plaintiffs Robert Heath (age 60+) and Cheryl Fillekes (age 47) alleged that despite possessing highly pertinent qualifications and experience, Google engaged in an intentional, systematic pattern of discrimination against 227 applicants age 40-plus interviewing for technical engineering positions throughout the United States.
This case recently settled for $11 million,with Google agreeing to train managers and employees on age-based bias; create an internal recruiting subcommittee to focus on age diversity; and ensure the company’s marketing efforts reflect age diversity.
Best practices:• Do not restrict or prefer job candidates on the basis of any “protected class.”
• Periodically refresh or re-train job interviewers on acceptable and unacceptable employment inquiries.
• Never request age information from job applicants except where a certain age range or age limit is a legitimate “bona fide occupational qualification.”
• Include the phrase “An Equal Opportunity Employer” with all job listings.
• When including images with job postings, ensure they represent a diverse population.
• Use reference guides such as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s
Inquiries Sheet when conducting interviews.
• Consult with knowledgeable legal counsel for further assistance.
See also,• Avoid Discriminatory Job Recruitment and Advertising (August, 2019)
• Interviews Gone Wild (October, 2018)
• Job Interview Errors to Avoid (April, 2018)
• Asking for Job Applicant Age is a No-No (August, 2017)
For further information,please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.
Cindy BamforthSeptember 5, 2019