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Google pays millions in class-action lawsuit for age bias

Google, the giant technology company that has defined the Information Age, has settled a class-action lawsuit for age discrimination. It still denies its interview process is “intentionally” biased against older job seekers.

Neither the lawsuit nor the settlement appears to surprise many who follow todays job market. Despite decades of increased awareness, it appears age discrimination is at least as common as it’s ever been even as lawsuits continue to be filed and settled.

Google parts with $11 million

The amount of the class-action settlement will be shared among 227 people who claimed they were denied a job at company due to their age. The reported income of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was close to $40 billion in just the last quarter of 2018.

The company has also agreed to other actions as part of the settlement, including:

  • Training for employees and managers.
  • Creating a subcommittee on age diversity in employment.
  • Monitoring its marketing for age diversity.
  • Investigating age bias complaints.
  • Asking departing employees about company ageism.

Exceptional applicant meets unexceptional process

The case was initiated by a woman who says she was first contacted by Google’s own recruiters in 2007 (when she was 47) to interview for a job in software development or in engineering and testing. She was interviewed 4 times over 7 years, as recruiters repeatedly picked her as a valuable prospect based on her resume.

But after each interview, and despite her excellent and relevant experience and qualifications, she was always passed up due to her age, according to her suit.

After winning a lawsuit, the settlement can help compensate for the financial setback of age discrimination. Many people simply appreciate knowing the law has acknowledges the company has used its power unjustly. Maybe most importantly, such settlements raise the cost of doing business in a discriminatory way, which may help correct an unfair job market for future applicants.

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